Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: C. S. Lakin

We’re looking at conflict in our fiction, and last week I touched a bit on this essential “corner pillar” of novel construction. Conflict is crucial to having a compelling story, for if our hero has no obstacles as he tries to reach his goal, the story will be bor-ing. What would The Wizard of Oz be like if, once Dorothy arrived in the Land of Oz, she had only to take a walk in the park without incident to arrive back in Kansas? Well, there wouldn’t be a story, and story is everything.

So I’ll assume we’re in agreement that we need conflict in our novels. I talked last weekabout some different types of classic scenarios that pit man against other forces (opposition), and how conflict doesn’t necessarily imply a bad guy or antagonist blocking your hero’s way. But what conflict should do is present high stakes for him.

 The Truth about High Stakes

So just what are stakes? Stakes come in two forms. You may or may not have heard the terms “public stakes” and “personal stakes,” but those are, in a nutshell, the two types of stakes at play in a story. Public stakes affect the world at large (in your story). They are stakes that affect others besides your character.

The best stories, in my opinion, are the ones that have both public and personal stakes in spades. And I’ll even say the stories in which the personal stakes are the highest are the better stories. I’ll explain why in a moment.

Stakes are what is at risk for your character. In general, stakes can be for gain or loss. Characters make choices and initiate action as they go after their goal, and every choice and action should have something at stake—something to gain or lose.

 You might assume high stakes (big risks, big losses) only come into play in genres like international thrillers or action/adventure novels, but I disagree. Any story, however small scale and personal, can present huge stakes and huge consequences.

How can that be? Because it’s all about the character and her goal.

. . .

Read the full article HERE!


If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
  1. The Subplot - Not Second Place, but Side by Side - Writers Write
  2. Should Secondary Characters Change?
  3. Written Words: Microsoft Word versus Apple Pages—A comparative review
  4. How to Write the Perfect First Page: Part II
  5. Screenplay Structure: The Five Plot Points - YouTube
  6. The Rise of Crowdfunding and How to Produce Your Next Project - The Script Lab
  7. All Character, No Plot
  8. Fiction University: The Key to Creating Suspense Is...
  9. Is Honesty the Most Important Trait in a Likable Character? - Helping Writers Become Authors
  10. 45 ways to avoid using the word 'very' - Writers Write
  11. Karen Woodward: Crafting Interesting Characters
  12. The Secret to Crafting High Stakes | Live Write Thrive
  13. Writing Fast and Slow: Creative Writing Lessons from Daniel Kahneman
  14. Words and Such: Revision's Mountain and More
  15. 6 Fixes For Repetitive Writing | Grammarly
  16. Can an Author Co-Op Work For You? | Wise Ink's Blog for Indie Authors about Self-Publishing
  17. What is the Shelf Life of Your Social Media? | The Violet Femmes
  18. What You Need To Sell More Books -- Basic Overview
  19. Southern Writers - Suite T: Publishing Here’s the Deal
  20. July 2014 Author Earnings Report – Author Earnings
  21. Mythcreants » The Pros and Cons of the Learn by Doing Method
  22. How to Get More Leads With Creative Social Tactics | Social Media Examiner
  23. 5 Subtle Writing Strategies That Drive Email Signups - Copyblogger
  24. It is hard for publishers to apply even Harvard B School advice in their struggle with Amazon | The Passive Voice |
Happy writing and running, Kathy

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