By: Signe Olynky
Adrift in a raft with a hungry tiger. Surviving in a downed helicopter in the middle of a Somalia war zone. Stealing the moon.
Does your protagonist have an impossible goal? Have you pushed her as far into the corner as you can, and then poked her with a stick? Have you set up a situation that has high stakes, and goals that are out of this world? In Despicable Me, the goal was literally to ‘steal the moon.’ Great! Now try pushing just a little bit more.
written by Nick Hornby and Cheryl Strayed, the protagonist has embarked on the
awesome task of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. And then she loses her
In Life of Pi, based on the novel written by Yann Martel and screenplay by David Magee, Piscine Patel is uprooted from his home in India where his family ran a zoo. When he, his family, and many of the animals from their zoo
cross the Pacific by ship and a massive storm destroys the boat, he finds
himself alone and lost at sea, trapped on a raft with a hungry tiger. As
if things weren’t tough enough!
Great drama, right? Why? Because these exceptional writers have created impossible obstacles for their protagonists to overcome. They have created fascinating characters and put them into fantastic situations, and we are compelled to see what happens. Let’s brainstorm. In other words, let’s make a list.
Think of the most impossible situation you can. Like being trapped on a raft with a tiger, for instance. Let’s explore some of what your character might do to survive.
What to do if trapped on a raft with a tiger?
- Stay awake!
- Stay in the water!
- Feed the tiger so it won’t eat you!
- Use your skills as a trainer to dominate the tiger into submission.
the tiger seasick by feeding
it salt water.
- Find land so that you can go your separate ways.
Wonderful – and that’s only a partial list. Now let’s look at what happens if any of the above situations happen. What are the consequences?
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- Fiction University: And the Pace is On: Understanding and Controlling Your Pacing http://ow.ly/NRFcC
- Fiction University: A Trick for Writing Subtext http://ow.ly/NRFx7
- 5 TOP APPS FOR WRITERS by Wendy Jones - The Artist Unleashed http://ow.ly/NRFT0
- WHEN YOUR NOVEL TURNS INTO A JAM DOUGHNUT by Carol Cooper - The Artist Unleashed http://ow.ly/NRH6I
- At BEA's IDPF Digital Book Conference: Youth reading - or not | The Bookseller http://ow.ly/NRHfA
- Impossible Goals, Impossible Obstacles | LA Screenwriter http://ow.ly/NRHpr
- Point of View: What Does Your Character Know? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author http://ow.ly/NRLzP
- 9 Twitter Tools and Apps to Ease Your Tweeting by Frances Caballo — The Book Designer http://ow.ly/NRLJT
- How to Boost Your YouTube Visibility Social Media Examiner http://ow.ly/NRMrV
- To Outline or Not to Outline Your Novel | Jane Friedman http://ow.ly/NRPPM
- Are You Using an Editorial Calendar for Your Author Posts? - Where Writers Win http://ow.ly/NSp9N
- Help – my characters are all too similar! 5 tips to make them distinct | Nail Your Novel http://t.co/9jqUcsMwR2