Remember, the better the opposition, the more tension the reader will feel because a formidable opponent increases the chances in the reader’s mind that the hero will fail.
Archive for the ‘The Craft of Writing’ Category
Display your command of language. It’s worthwhile for a writer to think about poetry, and all its devices like assonance and alliteration, metaphor and allusion, internal rhythm, even meter.
Readers want to hope and fear for a character. To feel this, they must not know what WILL happen, but do need to suspect or know what MIGHT happen and feel tension about the possibilities.
Character and problem by themselves don’t go anywhere. You still have to build reader tension to a sharp point. So how do you do that?
Writing is a risky career choice and one that doesn’t always yield a lot of concrete reward or social approval. But if one pretends it’s not a choice, then one doesn’t have to worry about those things, or at least not in the same way.
In my last two posts, I identified a number of things that make people and, therefore, characters interesting to us. In this post, I’ll present the last two draws and introduce the next condition for reader suspense.
I would like to share ten resources, more or less, that I think are really terrific when it comes to getting the science right. These will be biased toward my areas of expertise, and will span books, websites, and software. Old-fashioned books first.
All life is nurtured by death, and a story is defined not so much by what it is, but by what it is not. Our fiction cannot take on life unless we are willing destroy all of the beautiful possibilities but one: the best one.
We cannot help but be interested in characters who are, do, or have things we want. In fact, this is one of the main draws of fiction–experiencing something wonderful or cool, even if it’s vicariously.
In my last two posts I discussed the fact that readers are not going to hope and fear for a character unless that character raises their sympathy and sense of deservingness. But is that enough? Do readers stick around if the characters are utterly boring?