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Are You Crafting Your Story Correctly?

Do you know the secret to keeping your reader's interest throughout your book?



While there are many ways to craft a story, there is a general consensus on the types of structures that successfully capture and keep their audience's attention. These types of stories usually begin with a character of interest who has something the reader can root for and ends with a heavy climax and some sort of "happily ever after."


But what do writers put in the middle of the story to ensure the readers keep liking the characters and also get into the plot?


There is a secret ingredient here that many writers are missing—a zhuzh and zest that makes a book palatable throughout the work.


That secret is constant character conflict.


It may not seem like much, but you would be surprised how much keeping your character in turmoil adds to your story. And this can be both internal and external turmoil, as well.


Take Cinderella, for example. While she does have the problem with being overworked and underpaid, she is generally a soft, kind, loving character who has a lot of bad stuff happen to her. Her problems are 99% all external conflict caused by her step mother and step sisters.


Then we have Hamlet. He is a thinker and is very aware of the problems that may arise if he accuses the wrong man of murder. Much of his turmoil is internal and fed by exacting revenge for his father.


Both of these characters do have problems inwardly and externally, but they hold our attention because they are interesting. We want Hamlet to avenge his father. We want Cinderella to marry the prince and live happily ever after.


Why?


Because they have proven through their processing and actions that they deserve it. We want them to achieve their goals.


And the best way to keep readers absolutely hooked is by presenting them with the goal ahead of time and doing everything in your power to prevent the characters from accomplishing what they set out to do.


Possibly the best example of intertwining character and conflict would have to be the way JK Rowling depicts Harry Potter. All he's ever wanted was safety and belonging, and all she ever does as the author is prevents him from feeling safe or truly being able to belong anywhere. After all, he always has to go back to the Dursley's at the end of each school year.


But why did she do that? Why would it be so difficult to give him someplace nice and happy to exist for the rest of his days? Would you have read a story that allowed him to exist in such a way?


I'm going to hazard a guess and say probably not.


So, the next time you're feeling stuck in your plot, make sure to take away some of your character's creature comforts. The more conflict you create, the more readers love to experience the journey.


The reward at the end is almost sweeter in this case.


 

Want more writing advice? Lexi has just opened up a new, affordable hourly coaching program. Pay anywhere from $20-$50 for an hour of one on one coaching and get all of your questions answered without having to get into a huge coaching package.


It's a win-win for everyone, and we hope you take advantage of it! Please email us at trustintiming@gmail.com for more information or to sign up for a session!

 

Lexi Mohney is an award-winning, self published author and a book coach living in Ann Arbor, MI. Throughout her writing and coaching career, she's lived by the motto of "six seconds of insane courage," and worked with her own coaches, groups, and support system to see her Big Audacious Dreams come true. Her greatest goal is to help others achieve success of their own. Her first published piece, Carnal Knowledge, won an award at the 7th Annual Bisexual Book Awards in NYC on June 1, 2019. These days, you can find her working with clients or on her own writing (you can't have writer's block on multiple books at once). Contact her through her website or on social media.

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