"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Monday, June 25, 2007

Writing Tip of the Week - Make Life Difficult

I've read this and am putting it into complete practice in my new WIP.
Never give your characters anything easily. Make them struggle for everything they need.
Why? To create conflict. Life needs to be difficult for them and they need to grow and overcome the difficulties. Otherwise, they'll be boring to read about.
I guess this is kind of the reason the only news you see on TV is bad news (generalization here) Sure, we all love the feel good story about the little girl who wanders for three days in the woods and then turns up healthy and happy. But what makes this story interesting? That she wandered alone - facing all kinds of danger - is what makes it a story. The fact that she came back safe and OK means we'll talk about it for a couple days. Sad, but if she'd ended up missing forever, it would leave way more of an impact (but that's not the point here).

Thanks to a critique group member, I've added a new *TIP* on the white board in my office.
Conflict on every page.

1 comment:

Jim D said...

Okay.....making sure I've got 21 conflicts for next Monday (maybe less if one continues over multiple pages). I'll check for that tomorrow since I was reviewing those pages anyway. Thanks for the tip!!!

Jim D