Sunday, October 21, 2012

How to Make Things Worse

Sorry about forgetting you guys! No backstory today. Maybe I'll explain later, but not now. I’m also sorry for the lack of post on organization. I was half asleep last night when I promised to write one, but I will later. Anyway, let's get on with the post.


How to Make Things Worse

Sometimes I'm convinced that people only read or write books to learn about a life more messed up then their own.

Well that sounded really depressing, but it stands to reason that no one wants to read something identical to their own life. In other words, the worse you can make it for you characters, the more you go to the extremes, the more interesting your work will be. Torture your characters a little bit. Well that was more intense than I intended. It got your attention though, right?


Okay. This isn’t making any sense.


Think of it this way.


Which would you rather read?


Story A: A girl whose brother misses going to states for tennis by one match.

Or we can make it worse.

Maybe the brother is a senior and it’s his very last chance to go the states

Maybe the brother needs this to get into college

Maybe the brother is recovering from an injury

Maybe the brother lost to a boy he’s been beating all year

Maybe the brother lost by one point

Maybe the girl is really close with her brother

Maybe the brother lost to the girl’s boyfriend

Maybe the girl’s boyfriend already had a hard enough time impressing her family and now her brother hates him


Well the world just took on a whole new kind of suckishness (I hereby declare that a word) for the girl. Whose side does she take? What will she do?


The more ways you can make something difficult the more opportunities you have for interesting story lines. It also helps to connect all drama. Now, instead of having two separate story lines the boyfriend and the brother, they both connect.


Doesn’t that just suck? How can you make things worse in your story?




1 comment:

  1. Caroline, great post! Cranking up the level of awful can really help a novel. I nominated you for the Liebster award. Check out my blog for the details.

    ~Sarah Faulkner