Saturday, November 6, 2010

Special recipe

I've hit a snag in my current work in progress. Not a major one, but rather a minor case of "what happens next?" I have a rough outline of the story but not all of the little detours are mapped out. The subplot is still a bit on the vague side, too. I have to figure out a way to get my characters from Point D to Point E in the main plot, preferably with a detour that involves the subplot. If I don't come up with something soon, I'll have to use my special story recipe.

What is my Special Story Recipe, you ask? It is a time-honored proven method of advancing the plot, action, and character development in any story. Here goes:

Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Lather, rinse, repeat.

You may have also encountered this under another name, Blow Stuff Up.

Complications are an integral part of storytelling. Without complications, your story is going to be very short. If you're writing a short story, that's fine. With a novel-length work, you're going to need complications, twists, and turns. You're going to have to make your characters work for their resolution, and sometimes that means throwing bombs at them. In action oriented genres like urban fantasy that might mean a literal bomb, or a supernatural creature that causes as much chaos and mayhem as a bomb. In the romance genre, or a romantic subplot, that might mean finding a way to complicate the relationship. For instance, misunderstandings or romantic competition might make for a complication. So would Character A accidently revealing something they didn't want Character B to know. Something guaranteed to make Character B absolutely livid…

Um, okay. I have to go blow something up now, and throw my characters into a fire.

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