Conflict + High Stakes = Good Fiction
“Three Greatest Rules of Dramatic Writing: Conflict, conflict, conflict,” according to James. N Frey who penned How to Write a Damn Good Novel.
Safe writing is boring writing. Think about how our fictional characters compare with our everyday life. I’ve had some bummed out Christmas holidays. I don’t always get what I want. I buy gifts for ungrateful recipients. I can feel a little bah-humbug.
But even on my worst holiday downer, ghosts don’t infiltrate my bedroom in rapid succession and take me on a travel through time to illuminate where I can do better.
Maybe that’s just me.
But I doubt it. James. E Frey tells us, “If the stakes are high and both sides are unyielding, you have the makings of high drama.” Harry Potter battling Voldemort, for example. Just typing the name gives me chills. He was, after all, so villainous he, “shall not be named.”
In a beautifully written guest post earlier this month, Brook Booher wrote, “You will fall in love with them, or come to hate them, but if the characters are real enough, you cannot remain indifferent.”
So be bold. Pump up the passion. Don’t fear the drama. Basically, be anything but boring!