My protagonist introduced herself to me through a sequence of set-pieces. She has a very specific altruistic goal, and the conflicts she enters are with other characters who have well-defined agendas. The arc of the plot is established... except for the last act.
I have tried letting the characters speak to me (and they do). But they say too many things. There are too many equally interesting choices that they might make, too many good branches the plot might follow. My problem is how to prune this tree.
I am working very hard to stay away from any reverse McGuffins, or similar devices. I don't need a device, I need a process.
Your answers might tell me about:
- any process you might follow to (systematically?) map-out and evaluate the possibilities;
- any way you find works best to change your point of view, as the author, of the characters and events in your story, and thus discover a previously unseen branch to explore;
- any way that I should try interrogating the characters to find out if the choices they are revealing to me are genuine.