Can a World Disaster Be an Omen of Bad Things for Your Main Character?


Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“Can a World Disaster Be an Omen of Bad Things for Your Main Character?” by Joan Y. Edwards

  • Can a World Disaster Be an Omen of Bad Things for Your Main Character
  • Can a Tragedy in His Hometown Be an Omen of Personal Tragedy for Your Main Character?
  • Can a Local Tragedy Warn Your Main Character of His Own Personal Peril?
  • Does a World Tragedy Mirror a Personal Tragedy for Your Main Character?

I toyed with each of the above questions as a title for this article.  First, I chose the fourth one. Not many people were reading it. I changed the name to see if it brings more readers.

Many historical fiction novels do a great job of having a world situation mirror a personal tragedy or triumph in the main character. You could use it in your novels, even if they are not historical fiction. You can also turn it into a positive mode by concentrating on the survivors, the positive changes that were made afterward in your characters and in the town itself.

Many non-fiction books are published telling the facts about disasters.

Titanic was written to retell the moments before and after the sinking of the ship.

There are novels written by Wil Mara about disasters: http://www.wilmara.com/disasternovels.html

You can use world or local disasters to signal future problems for your main character. Have the disaster impact his life in ways he never imagined. He can brag that that would never happen in his town. Let your imagination imagine different scenarios where it affects him personally.

It’s all well and good when it’s someone else’s yard that’s flooded, but when it happens to you, you have a totally different point of view. Our neighbor told me about someone who was having a pool installed. The tanker with water to fill their pool, missed it and went down the hill flooding a neighbor’s yard and home.

Disasters that could hit a town – plane crashes, tornadoes, floods, and explosions

Make a similar threat of disaster for your main character. Here are three examples I created for you:

  1. Everyone in Tom’s town remembered when the 747 crashed…now his small jet may repeat the history he dreaded.
  2. 100 years ago a tornado devastated Luke’s town, he was determined a tornado wouldn’t do the same for his marriage.
  3. Susan looked at all the birds covered with oil from the tanker. Perhaps soap detergent could help them fly again. However, it hadn’t washed away her fear of having to stay on this beach forever.

What Are the Ten Worst Events in Your Character’s Town

Study the headlines of your town’s newspaper archives. It’ll probably make your eyes pop out.

Steve Sparkes. “How to Search a Town’s History:” http://www.ehow.com/how_7557697_search-towns-history.html

Make them up or do a combination. The television series writer

The 100 Most Significant Events of the Last Thousand Years

Read more: Millennium Milestones | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781458.html#ixzz2YTTvV9dp

10 Worst Moments in Human History

Flamehorse. “10 Worst Moments in Human History:” http://listverse.com/2012/03/02/top-10-worst-moments-in-human-history/

On this site, you can choose events on this day in history. Choose a special date, country, birthday, or death.
http://www.historyorb.com/today/events.php

Topics available on history orb.com
http://www.historyorb.com/topics.php

Another great site to see what happened on a particular month and day: http://www.historyplace.com/

Top 10 Inventions That Changed the World

Richard Grey.”Top 10 Inventions That Changed the World:” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/4981964/Top-10-inventions-that-changed-the-world.html

Ed Grabianowski. “Ten Inventions That Changed the World:” http://www.geniusstuff.com/blog/list/10-inventions-changed-world/

People Celebrate These Events – Could they play a significant role in your story?

Weddings
Coronations
Inaugurations
Elections
Birthdays
Births
Opening of a new movie
Opening of a new play
Launching of a new book
Sporting Events

  • Olympics
  • The Super Bowl
  • The World Series
  • The PGA Tournaments
  • The Gold Cup
  • NASCAR Racing

Make the main character’s story weave through similar patterns as people did in the past. It adds emotional depth and credibility to your stories. It also adds suspense. Will the character be able to break the pattern or will he suffer the pains of defeat?

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope it helps you create wonderful possibilities and frustrating situations for your main character. When your main character deals with the unpleasant and heart-breaking things that happen to him, he can change into the kind of person who defeats the dragons under his feet.  He’ll be ready for a big celebration at the end of the book. Your readers will cheer with him. Good luck with your writing. I hope you’ll leave a comment.

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

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2 Responses

  1. As always, thanks for all of the great ideas, Joan. This is a very thoughtful article.

    Like

    • Dear Becky,
      You’re welcome. Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate you very much. You were the first one to comment on it and it’s been up for a few days. Hip Hip Hooray for you! I hope it helps you figure out a unique way to make your book shine.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

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