Saturday, 27 June 2009

Conflict and Gotham writers

This is the old pack horse bridge over the Whittle Burn in Ovingham, and has absolutely nothing to do with what follows, but it's pretty, and I like it. It was repaired in 1698, so it is pretty old.

The start of a story is important. It has to grab the reader. So the lead-in, from the first page to the inciting incident should introduce the protagonist, establish the genre and the setting and lead to the inciting incident. And you have to do it in an interesting way. You might want to show your protagonist in his/her normal world, which the inciting incident will disrupt and set the rest in motion. Or you might prefer to begin with an incident that will tip everything normal on its head, and run from there.

And for the rest - keep the conflict coming so that stakes are raised for the protagonist, weave in subplots and give it all highs and lows. Conflict may be many things - external, internal, spiritual, emotional, physical - but you need it. Reaching the goal has to get harder and harder. If the main character has nothing to lose, you have no conflict.


Glynis said...

You made my day Jen, I think I might have achieved some of what you have advised,if not all. Only time will tell :) Thanks.

Jen Black said...

I'm so pleased. I think that if I repeat all this stuff to myself day in and day out, some of it MUST filter through and I'll be a better writer one day. Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later.