Preptober Prompts Day 11

Hello all! I interrupt the normal program to wish you a happy Monday and introduce an event going on over here for the next week.

This year R.M. Archer was kind enough to ask me to co-host Preptober Prompts so this week will bring much fun and games! First of all, what is Preptober Prompts?

Preptober Prompts is an event which aims to get authors thinking about their NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) projects in new and different ways and aims to help make their preparations fun. Every day this month with an exception of Sundays a prompt of some kind is posted by the blogger hosting that week. The four categories of prompts are: character development, worldbuilding, plot development, or flash fiction.

I am happy to report that my assigned category is characters! (I was very excited when I heard that.)

You can read the announcement post and the other co-hosts here. To look at last week’s prompts go here. And you can also follow the progress on social media platforms with the tag #PreptoberPrompts2020

What if you are not participating in NaNoWriMo? Then you’re in the same boat as I am. This event is targeted to writers preparing for participation in NaNoWriMo however, even if you are in the middle of a project, starting a project but not participating in NaNoWriMo, or if you’re done with a project, you are invited to participate and follow along.

This year’s overall theme is change.

So for this week we will be discussing change and characters and how they relate!

Okay now to this week’s first prompt: How do your side characters change over the course of the story?

In my novel 51, Walter, one side character, doesn’t do a lot of internal changes and is pretty much set in his ways already, but the impression of his character does morph and show different aspects as the story progresses.

Sam, one of my main characters’ brothers, does a lot of changing. His circumstances change at large which causes him to have to rethink the way he approaches things. He becomes more thoughtful and strategic even as he retains his passions that drive him to act in the first place. He also grows to accept a more grim outlook and this leads to him not being as rash in feeling entirely at fault or in being so desperate as he is when he first enters the story.

I think this is a good question to consider. I keep thinking back to one of my characters with the name of Stephen and how there’s little change or development of his person at all throughout the story. I plan to change that for the third draft.

Well folks that’s all for day one of this week!

How do your side characters change over the course of your story?

30 thoughts on “Preptober Prompts Day 11”

    1. Isn’t it?? I’m excited to be here and get to talk about characters with everyone for a whole week. 😁

      Oh wow sounds tough. I’ve always avoiding such a large turnaround for my characters. I don’t know if I could pull it off with my lil skills πŸ˜†

      And now I’m trying to think of cliches in that area but even though it feels like it would be obvious I can’t think of it ahahaha.
      What cliches are you avoiding? What are some good examples of well down redemption arcs?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. xD I know. But I thought I should do something drastic since I’m attempting to write a sci-fi thriller. And since I love redemptive characters so much (eyes Sydney, and Darth Vader, and Loki)

        Mostly I’m trying to make it REAL, and not be too bland or run of the mill in my execution (or presentation, because I’m starting to have pictures of Madame Guillotine in my head now, courtesy of The Scarlet Pimpernel :P). Probably one of the biggest cliches can be family issues, or childhood trauma, etc. that makes my char. an evil villain in the beginning. I’m still trying to flesh him out though, so I’m afraid I don’t have much details to share at this moment (I would, probably, when I actually finish my draft, consider requesting you as an alpha reader – maybe, if you have the time and don’t mind).

        And I’ve found that writing a male character can be a challenge all in itself.

        Once again, reminded of “my lil skills” as you so brilliant put it, Mllm.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I LOVED Loki’s redemption arc. It’s definitely one of my favorites, and well-done redemption arcs in general are awesome.

          I think one thing that helps is having steps along the way. Maybe they’re completely sold on their evil to begin with, but then something happens that leads to misgivings, they push those away for a while and ignore them but then something brings them back up again in a way they can’t ignore, and then they dwell on it for a bit, and then finally they turn… Something that feels like a realistic sequence. As long as it feels natural/believable, I don’t personally think it matters as much if it’s somewhat cliche, even if it is still better to avoid cliches where possible.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Ah! Great advice! This is basically what I’m aiming for. I suppose I should have stated earlier that I’m trying to develop my side characters with the redemption arc in a realistic if still cliched manner. πŸ™‚ (And you’re right. I can even think that some cliches can be so well done that it doesn’t feel cliched at all…)

          Liked by 1 person

        3. A SCI-FI THRILLER
          gahhhhh sounds amazinggg. Yes I would read this for sure. πŸ˜†

          Oh Sydney! Of course. And Loki *sheds a tear* my boiiii

          That makes sense. Those are some very hard things to avoid hahahaha.
          Are you writing this right now?

          Liked by 2 people

        4. Yeah… it’s more amazing in my brain unwritten right now than when I try to actually write it, I’m afraid. πŸ˜›

          xD All this talk about Loki gave me a really weird dream last night I juts might incorporate into my mentioned WIP.

          Well *looking sheepish* I intend to. Currently it’s mostly still in my head. Trying to actually flesh out something I can follow as a plot right now. (And of course I shall contact you once I finish it, or when I feel like I need some help πŸ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

        5. Hahaha I relate to that. Nothing comes out like it was planned out. Or even if it goes according to plan it flops. πŸ˜†

          Ooooooh ahahahah that’s pretty great lol. Definitely incorporate that.

          You’re fine! I’m there right now too ((:

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Yay! I’m super excited for this week! ^-^

    I almost defaulted to answering for Calligraphy Guild characters. Oops! XD
    I haven’t actually considered my side characters for The Half-Elves much yet. I should fix that. I think Fogg might end up completing his Dewin (magician) training in this book and come into his own as a full Dewin. (Which would be both epic and sad for… reasons.)
    Crimson and Scarlet will both grow in how they handle their grief, and Scarlet might soften a little.
    But I definitely need to think about this more! A lot of the side characters in this book don’t really have their own arcs yet.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Side characters can be kind of hit-or-miss for me. In some stories I have a lot of really fleshed-out side characters, in some I have a lot of flat side characters. They’re something I’m definitely still working on improving, lol.

        Absolutely! Thanks for participating! ^-^

        Liked by 1 person

    1. First off, I must say I love your character’s names! Fogg? (Also the title Dewin??) amazing amazing yes

      Ahahaha I relate to that. It’s hard to get used to new projects. I feel like either I get completely lost in plotting out the entire lives of my side characters or I won’t even recognize their names when I come across them in my writing lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooh, side characters! Mine change… a lot.
    So Emily, the adopted sister of the protagonist, changes from basically a really naive kid to something more sober and serious and grown-up, with the ability to not be so stupidly tactless as she is. She moves out from her sister’s shelter and really becomes her own person, not just a sycophant.
    Neil (perhaps my favourite character πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ because of how he changes) turns from a very bitter, selfish, lonely, all-round fairly nasty fellow, into less bitter, less selfish, is revealed to always MEAN WELL, even though he doesn’t say it well. I guess five years of not talking to a single human being would change you, especially when that five years starts by the death of his *SPOILERS* beloved fiancee πŸ˜₯ which he feels bitter about)
    I suspect my side characters’ arcs are more fleshed out than my main character. Hmmm. She just doesn’t have as interesting or as sudden etc. growth, she just matures more steadily.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow sounds fantastic!
      And that’s a very interesting observation… I have read some good books/watched good movies like that where the main character goes on steadily and slowly while the other characters see the most change. In theory it sounds awful haha but it can be very good!
      Are you currently writing this project? πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ooh, apparently harsh characters with hidden positive motivations are so cool!

      MCs without such striking arcs aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as they still develop believably. πŸ™‚


  3. Ahh, I am finally getting around to reading these preptober posts! You are doing a marvelous job hosting, my friend! 😊

    I love side characters. Most of my favorite characters in stories are side characters. And no offense to my own main characters, but most of the time I love their sidekicks/friends/family/allies better then I do them. πŸ˜‚

    One of my side-characters from Raven’s Mask starts out the story in a very bad place emotionally and mentally. They’ve been hurt so much that they’ve become sort of numb and lifeless. They don’t trust anybody and are drowning themselves in unhealthy coping mechanisms. By the end of the story (hopefully, anyways) they’ve come to realize that in order to heal from past traumas one must feel the feels and process the pain. They also discover that not everybody is a monster and there are friends in unlikely places.

    This is so much fun, Evelyn, thanks for doing this! πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh no worries. Better late than never. πŸ˜‰

      Aren’t side characters the best though???
      Oh wow sounds tough. But like a really good journey (can Raven’s Mask get ANY better??)

      Of course dear ❀ I'm so glad you are enjoying it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oops, I totally forgot to check back here for the prompts!
    Since my WIP is a series, I have a lot of side characters and some of the side characters from the beginning either start growing in the first book or grow later in the sequel books, especially in the last one! But I think there are some changes to mention about here. πŸ™‚
    Gum learns to be more sympathetic toward those who chose to be cyborgs or those who found turning into a cyborg was honorable and the right thing to do. Overall, she becomes more compassionate and more open-minded to others’ opinions that clash with her own beliefs.
    Polar learns to be stronger, to be more independent. She let other people control her decisions and she broke free of that by the end.
    Seek is little more difficult to know what exactly changed for him in this book (the second book has more clearer changes) but I think a change for him is how he should fight for what is important to him and not be passive.
    Kayo learns to love himself more and be less bitter about his condition (he is quite at the background at the moment, so I don’t know if this change will actually be seen in this story, but as the writer I know it happened πŸ™‚ ).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries! πŸ˜€
      Oh my. Okay though. First off your characters’ names (!!!) I LOVE them. Gum?? Polar?? Kayo?? hOw Do YoU cOmE uP wiTh tHis stuff?
      Second, is your story steam punk? (I love steampunk. steampunk is pretty e p i c)
      And lastly great answers to the question! Sounds like a fantastic story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! It makes me happy that you love their names. They are pretty special to me. Well, with Gum, she was named after a tree that is very common where I live (like it is everywhere). Polar is either inspired by the polar bear or the star Polaris (thinking about it, it is probably both). And Kayo is because I like the name Kay, but I think I either had a character already called that at the time of naming him or I thought it too feminine for him (again probably both).
        Sadly, this one is not a steampunk. It is a dystopian. Though those two genres are strangely similar to each other. One is in the past, the other in the future, but they both have technology beyond what we have today. (I love steampunk too. It is really epic.)
        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oooh dystopian! Very cool.
          That’s an interesting point about the parallels between those two genres.
          Also those are really cool stories about how you named your characters! Usually I have a difficult time naming mine lol.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Generally, I don’t have much problem with naming characters. Once I decide that a name suits them, it sticks and it is so hard to forget. And so I don’t have the problem of names changing during the first draft. For me, it is important to have the character’s names figured out before writing. I know that is not the same for every writer. The main thing is having a name that you love and that suit the character. It doesn’t matter when the naming happens or long it takes either.
          (Also I named Gum as a child, and it still suits her, which is awesome.)

          Liked by 1 person

        3. That’s great! I never feel like I understand a character until they are named. The problem is sometimes I can never find that name haha.

          “The main thing is having a name that you love and that suit the character. It doesn’t matter when the naming happens or long it takes either.”

          You’re right! Good point. (:

          Liked by 1 person

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