By: Emily Wenstrom
Let’s be honest. Plot development is not always fun. Sometimes it’s really hard.
Sometimes, your story gets stuck in a rut, backed into a corner, or just gets flat and boring.
The Most Important Thing to Ask Yourself for Plot Development
There are tons of articles out there that want to give you long lists of your plot development problems and detailed steps to take to resolve each. But as I draftedmy first novel, which is releasing next month, I found that a single question was enough to get my creativity going again. This one question got my story back on track every single time.
So what’s the question?
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Why It Works
You’ve probably heard before that to tell a good story, you’ve got to torture your characters. It’s one of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever been given.
Why is it so important to make your characters suffer? If your characters don’t struggle, if they don’t have to sacrifice and make hard choices and have something real at stake, they’re just coasting along through time.
If your characters are just coasting…well, where’s the story in that?
Characters need something to fight for. Your readers are counting on you to establish real stakes. Without those stakes, you won’t hold readers’ attention for long.
The question, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” has been my most effective tool in establishing high, compelling stakes for my writing.
How To Use It
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