Tag Archives: stakes

Of carabiners and cliffhangers . . .

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

Cliffhangers.  Writers love ‘em.  Readers hate ‘em.  So why use do we insist on using a tool that makes even the most peace-loving reader want to go all green and start raging?  Because, when it’s done right, everyone loves a cliffhanger.  Done right, it utilizes a particularly power-packed moment to end your scene leaving the reader with both a rush of satisfaction and an urgency that compels them go on.  Right.  This.  Instant. Continue reading

Practical Prompt 10-30-14

WriteOwls

WriteOwls

You 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.

Consider the emotional resonance of the scene you’re working on. Do big events have an emotional impact on your characters, or are they just there to serve the plot?

Practical Prompt 03-13-14

You 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.

PROMPT: Look at the next scene you want to write for your story. What is the essential reason for the scene’s existence? What absolutely must happen in order for the story to proceed? If nothing, delete the scene. Otherwise, once you’ve identified the essential ingredients, brainstorm seven alternate ways that essential element can unfold in the plot. Are any of the alternate ways more interesting than the way you originally designed the scene?

Practical Prompt 03-06-14

You 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.

PROMPT: Up the conflict in your story. Go back to the last scene you wrote. List five twists that would have made things worse for your character. Now rewrite the scene using one—or more—of those ideas and see if it raises the stakes of your story.