Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Fortunately, there are several ways to address this problem.
Give the character(s) a past, one that's plausible. Give the main character a unique characteristic, not flying or the ability to see through things, necessarily, but a particular gift, interest or aptitude. Then frustrate that plan. Further raise the stakes by making it seem the dream is dead. For a realistic result, ask yourself what in the characters' past would cause problems now. Consider what ability or gift the character has that he/she would love to use, especially now, but can't. Consider a realistic way this desire could be frustrated. One good reason for doing all this is described well by stakes guru and literary agent Donald Maass in Writing the Breakout Novel: "By risking what we most desire a novelist can show us how we are."
Happy New Year!