I’m kind of on a beef kick this week, but I’m not going to talk about “pink slime” again. In fact I’m not even going to talk about steaks—at least not the beef kind :)
Do you ever worry about the stakes in your story? I do. All. The. Time. I want to pass on something that has changed how I write.
It’s great to have a big over arching stake that runs the duration of your story, but it will not carry your story. It isn’t good enough.
You MUST have some kind of stake in EVERY scene. Let me put it even simpler. There must be something to lose in every scene! EVERY SCENE.
Just think about it for a moment. If there is always something to lose, people will read on to see what happens.
Need a few ideas of what your characters can lose?
- I could go on and on.
I learned this principle from that “Filler” book I’ve been reading. The characters are never in danger of losing anything—but their life. Now, don’t fall in to this trap.
Threatening to kill off your main characters doesn’t really work (unless you are J.K.), because if you kill of your main character—the story is over. We've all been reading along and thinking, “Ya, this is bad, but I know they won’t die there are 200 pages left.”
So, give us real stakes. Give your characters something to lose. Make us read on :)
6 days to I’m HearingVoices Blogfest. Yay, I can’t wait!