I'm just beginning a new book, and seem to have to reinvent the process every time I do this. Sometimes I think it's because I'm a very slow learner, and other times I wonder if it doesn't keep the process of writing fresh for me.
I've been thinking a lot about LDStorymakers. It is always a wonderful conference. But this year Martine Leavitt make it especially memorable. Since I'm starting a new book, I really felt like I assimilated her information. I'll pass some of it on. Hopefully it will be of benefit to you also.
She said in her workshop that every story must have suspense.
Suspense comes when the author gives the main character desire and then adds obstacles and stakes.
Your main character's desire is the heart of the story.
Ask yourself the questions:
1. Who wants what?
2. What if they don't get it?
3. Why now?
1. Man vs. Man
2. Man vs. Nature
3. Man vs. Himself
The bigger the obstacle, the greater the character appears in our eyes.
The author creates the stakes when she asks herself:
What does the character stand to lose if he doesn't get what he wants.
These are simple concepts—ones that we already are aware of. But for me they are good questions to make sure I have my story focused in the direction I want it to go so that I can illustrate the premise in the best possible way.
My goal is to read this information often so that it becomes part of my soul because writing is part of my soul.