Someone asked me to make the previous ask rebloggable. I’m afraid I don’t see a way to do that, so I’m just going to repost the thing in a text box and hope it works. Sorry for the repeat.I was wondering if you had any advice regarding making ideas more important. I have pages of different events + characters that I can only develop so far because, after a time, all I can add to them are “WHO CARES?” and “WHY DOES THIS MATTER?” (I’m talking about events characters will go through. “Statues come to life all around Greece” is immediately followed by “WHO GIVES A FUCK?”) Does this ever happen to you? Thank you very much for your time, and sorry if you’ve answered a similar question!
Ungh. This is a really tough one. There are two ways, maybe, to attack this.
1) One way of doing it, and this works okay for standard dramatic storytelling, is this: what do your characters WANT? The secondary questions are, what stops them from getting what they want, and how far are they prepared to go to get what they want? But start with the simple first question. What your character wants defines how we perceive and feel about them in the story. Find one thing they want, and see how that feels to you.
2) From a certain view, stories are two things. There’s what the story’s about, and what the story’s REALLY about. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS is about a Martian invasion of Earth. But it’s REALLY about something else entirely. There’s a subtext: there’s the thing Wells wrote the story to actually talk about. What you may be encountering is having a story that’s all surface, or a story with a subtext that isn’t working out for you. Find out what you really want to say with your fiction. If it matters to YOU, it’ll matter to other people.
This is all a bit clumsy and off the cuff, but maybe something in there will give you something to think about. I hope so.