Story-fixing Your Novel––Part V

plottingThis week, we’ll talk about escalation and how to fix some issues having to do with get the snowball down the mountain. It’s picking up speed, gaining momentum, and it will eventually become an avalanche. This is what needs to happen with your story. Click to Tweet #amwriting #storyfixing

avalancheUsing the avalanche as an example, here’s what to look for in your text.

  1. Promise early that an avalanche will occur. The avalanche shouldn’t come out of nowhere. You need to build tension. Maybe a seismologist sees a fault running through a glacier. No one will believe him as he tries to warn of the avalanche that’s coming.
  2. Start small, get big. Have tension from the beginning, but don’t insert too much at the beginning or there weren’t be anywhere for your story to go. Conflict is all about escalating tensions.
  3. Show readers the village at the base of the mountain. These guys are oblivious, but allude to the danger that’s on its way.
  4. Stay on one mountain. Don’t add random setbacks. Once you know your protagonist’s basic struggle, the one introduced at the beginning of the story, deepen it.
  5. Include some skiers trying to outrun the avalanche. Put those characters in peril. Bring the danger close to the characters you’ve introduced in your story.
  6. Let the villagers try to solve things, but fail. There are all kinds of things you can do here. Be creative and keep to the main disaster of the story.
  7. Steepen the slope. Everything is worse than the villagers thought it was. More than one section of mountain tumbles. The avalanche picks up more speed. The villagers may not evacuate in time.
  8. Throw in a blizzard. Nothing beats a weather event to bring a monkey wrench into things. The villagers lose all hope of riding out the storm, and there is no way of escape. How will they survive?

Whatever you come up with, use a variety of schemes, mistakes, attempts, setbacks, and ideas. This shows creativity and can help with story.

As the action escalates, so should the protagonist’s emotions. But you don’t want your hero to wimp out, whine, or otherwise show weakness.

Quick Fix

Take a scene that seems to stall. Promise more pain, danger, reminding readers of how close that danger is right now. Insert an obstacle that the character must avoid. As you get closer to the climax, use shorter paragraphs and sentences, avoiding unfamiliar words that might trip up your readers.

Work on these things to escalate your tension. Bring the danger closer and closer until it’s upon your protagonist. Show the struggles and create your disaster. Click to Tweet #amwriting #storyfixing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Mickey Mindset

Celebrating the Art of Disney Storytelling

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.

For a purpose

The blog site of Rick Wade

devotions4misfits

Where it is a good thing to be an outcast.

Cracked-Pot

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; let your light shine through your cracked pot. Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in and comes out.

loon watchman

stark raving sane.

Diann Mills

Expect An Adventure

Kelly F Barr

"A story without love is empty." -- Kelly F. Barr

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift

Vonj Production

Bringing you love through spirit!

A christian dad blog

Just a dad following God's path

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

Funny Dog Moments

Funny Tales of Cinnamon the Cute Guard Dog

Life Through the Big Screen

A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.

%d bloggers like this: