Six Things That Need Fixing / by Kenneth Buff

Last night I was getting ready to work on my new story, when something I read from Blake Snyder's Save The Cat popped into my head. It was his Six Things That Need Fixing. This refers to the character flaws your hero needs to have at the beginning of the book, so that they'll have something to have transformed from by the end of the book. I was thinking about this, and realized that I'd almost naturally included these things in some of my novels and stories, but others I had to add them in various drafts. Me being a person who likes to improve and grow with each story I write, I figured I should try and squeeze in the things I know I'm going to need (like Six Things That Need Fixing), so that's sort of what I've been doing today. Well, I've been writing, letting the story flow, but also trying to keep in mind that I need to develop these characters why I continue to move the story forward. It's a fun thing to do, but it's nice to have some mental maps in your head to help guide you.

Now, the number six is just an arbitrary number. All you need to keep in mind is that the character needs to have several things that aren't right in their life, and some of these should be internal things (character traits, internal struggles, etc.), while others need to be external. By the end all of these things should be in some way improved, if not completely gone. I think having some of these things only improved rather than completely cured can lead to a story that feels richer than one that seems to have waved a magic wand over the character's problems. Of course, all of these changes happen after the hero's journey, so maybe they've earned those major changes. It all depends on the story, and the world you've created within it. Personally, I think the changes that take place in the character from the beginning of the book to the end of the book are the most rewarding aspects of any story, so this is something you'll want to make sure you've hammered home in your final draft. You want it to be obvious that the hero of your story has gone through some kind of transformation, and that this in itself has helped contribute to the story you're telling.