“Take Away Your Main Character’s Security Blanket” by Joan Y. Edwards
If your main character has everything he needs, take the most significant thing from him. Pick his pocket. Get it out of his closet or take it off the shelf. Turn your main character’s world upside down. Let me explain.
For instance, some children must have their blanket with them wherever they go. Baby Bop called hers Blanky. Others may call it Wooby, as did the people in the movie, Mr. Mom. It is their security blanket. If they can’t touch it, they become emotionally unglued and devastated. Here’s the definition of Wooby from Urban Dictionary:
(noun) Security blanket, teddy bear, or any physical item (for children) or emotional feeling (for adults) that gives you that safe, fuzzy, warm aura.
Take your main character’s security blanket away. You want him to become emotionally unglued and devastated enough to change in order to reach his goal.
- If your character is addicted to a schedule, change it.
- If your character is addicted to coffee, have a coffee shortage.
- If your character is addicted to fancy, expensive clothing, have him spend time with the homeless with a torn T-shirt and a pair of shorts.
- If your character needs to have his wallet with him at all times, have him lose it.
- If your character needs a car to get to where he’s going, have it break down.
- If your character needs to have a security system to feel safe, have a storm knock it out.
- If your character depends on another character for his money, have that character disappear and make him have to get a job.
- If your character is a runner who needs good running shoes, have someone switch his shoes to one of a smaller or larger size.
- If your character needs an alarm clock, break it.
- If your character needs a great hair style, have the hairdresser chop it off.
When you take away your main character’s security blanket, he will have to deal with his anger, loss, and will have to make changes to reach his goal. When you take away his security blanket, he becomes vulnerable. Readers relate to vulnerable characters. A reader might say, “I can’t stand to be without my lucky pen, I understand how he feels.” When readers find characters similar to them, they are drawn to them and find them lovable. Try it. You’ll
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