Are you playing God? Maybe you should be.

During his seminar on plot structure, Michael Hauge said something that really stuck with me. I’m going to put this in my own words so I can keep this post until 4000 words. The gist of it was this:

If you want to write a book, the first thing you need to do is pretend you are God. Now find your main character and identify their identity and goals (see my last post if you don’t know what this means).

Done? Good. Now take the things the MC wants/needs and create a character that can give these things to her. If she wants someone who will love her passionately, create a man who falls in love with her at first sight and who is the epitome of passion. If she wants money, create someone who is rich.

Done? Good. Now create a villain and/or a situation that will make it very difficult for the MC to get what she wants from this character. Maybe she’s engaged to someone else. Maybe some other woman wants the rich guy too.

Done? Good. Now find a way to give the MC the courage she needs to defy the villain or survive the situation.

Done? Good. You’ve got yourself a book.

I think the reason this stuck with me most is because I usually start my books with a concept, then I add the conflict and then I try to fit a character into the situation. This often means tweaking and bending until they all fit together. But now that I’ve become privy to the Michael Hauge wisdom, I realize that, if I just started with the character, I would not have this problem.

And that, my friend, is reason #12 why you should take his seminar.

Category: On Writing