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Tag: generating story tension

How to Create Multi-Dimensional Characters—Everybody Lies

When it comes to your characters, make them lie. Make them hide who they are. They need to slowly reveal the true self, and they will do everything to defend who they believe they are.

Conflict—Giving LIFE to Your Fiction

Bad decisions make GREAT fiction. I know it’s tough to not write about fully evolved/self-actualized characters, but those guys are B-O-R-I-N-G. We like to watch people grow, probably so we might glean some hint of how to grow, ourselves. The more messed up a character is? The more INTERESTING they become.

What "Finding Nemo" Can Teach Us About Story Tension

Storytelling is in our blood, it binds us together as humans. On some intuitive level, everyone understands narrative structure, even little kids. All good stories have a clear beginning, middle and end. Ever try to skip parts of a story with a toddler? Even they can sense on a gut level that something is wrong if we miss a fundamental part of the story.

Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS

Every scene, every bit of dialogue must be uncomfortable. Fiction is the opposite of our human nature. Human nature is to avoid conflict at all costs. To write fiction? We must dive into the Miserable Messy head-first. Create problems at every turn (not mere “bad situations” but conflict).

5 Common Mistakes that Will KILL Your Novel

Even literary fiction involves some outside force that is causing the contemplation, depression, rebellion, etc. Whether it is the decline of the aristocracy and rise of the middle class (Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”) or implosion of society and humans turned cannibals in Cormac McCarthy’s Pultizer-winning The Road, we always have an outside pressure and an antagonist to drive the story momentum.