September 14, 2008: Filling the Well

Yesterday’s silence wasn’t because I was having a silent day — it was because I wasn’t home. As usual on a Saturday, I hung out with my middle sister, running errands, finishing up with a marathon viewing of the Season Four episodes of Battlestar Galactica she’d captured with her DVR. 

At one point, after a particularly twisty twist, I turned to her and said, “I want to write stories like that when I grow up.” On some level, I believe that if I could pick BSG apart, it would be a master class in plotting and characterization. Among other things, the series doesn’t let me slot characters into Good Guy/Bad Guy buckets — everyone important is a little of both. And everybody is changing — but how could they not, faced with everything the writers have flung at them?

Which is a lesson unto itself: fling things at your characters to make them grow and change. The growth and change are your character arc, which lies at the heart of your story.

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