Tag Archives: conflict

Practical Prompt 5-17-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

Up the conflict in your story. Before you start writing on your next scene, brainstorm a list of twists that could make things harder on your character. Then as you write the scene, add in one—or more—and see if it ups the tension.

Avoiding Difficult Scenes Doth Not a Writer Make

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

I have a confession.

I dance around the scenes I don’t want to write. Or at least don’t feel equipped to.

Currently, there are three big gaping holes in my manuscript. All three holes should be filled with essential scenes; all three are insanely difficult for me to write. There are scenes before and scenes Continue reading

Make Your Scene Better by Making It Worse

Megan Norris Jones

Megan Norris Jones

I’m not a risk taker. I’m not drawn to danger. I always look before I leap. My prudence has brought me a pleasant and happy life. But pleasant and happy lives, however great for living, do not make  great fiction. So, when I am writing, I have to fight my own instincts to do things the careful way. My characters are not my children who need to be protected. What they really need is a spark of danger to get their story going.

I have been working on a sequence in my work in progress that I thought would be lovely and enjoyable, but instead it was stagnant and just plain dull.  I finally realized that I was being too careful with my characters. Instead of bringing them conflict, I was working to protect them. Continue reading

Practical Prompt 7/20/26: Scene Structure Part 3

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

For our June “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine books that had well constructed scenes. Now, apply what you learned to your own manuscript.

For the past two weeks, you’ve revised a scene in your manuscript so that your characters face conflict that your readers will find fresh. This week, analyze how your character feels about the outcome. Were there unintended consequences? Let those emotions direct the way the character reacts. Does she regroup and come up with a new plan to reach the same goal? Does he set a new goal altogether? Whatever reaction you choose, use that to guide the goal your character sets in the next scene.

Practical Prompt 7/13/16: Scene Structure Part 2

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

For our June “Learn to Write by Reading” challenge, we invited you to examine books that had well constructed scenes. Now, apply what you learned to your own manuscript.

In last week’s practical prompt, you crafted a scene that set up your characters’ goals and created obstacles for them to overcome. Now, review the conflict in that scene. Is the outcome too predictable? Consider a different outcome that will surprise your readers, or have your character react in an unexpected way. Try a few options until you find the one that will keep the readers turning the pages to see what happens next.