Great reminder! When I get tempted to start ‘telling’ or add ‘just a bit of backstory’ I am reminded that without conflict, conflict, conflict (fear) our stories are, well, kind of boring!
What does your character fear?
We all know that when moving our stories forward we’re supposed to make things worse for the protagonist. Is he lost? Let the sun set, let the rain come. Is he alone? Find someone to stalk him. Is she being hunted? Take away her defenses. Does she need to find a cure? Have it fall into the hands of the antagonist. This is all something fundamental, though many of us forget about it or fail to take it far enough. You know those books where the hero is having enough trouble as it is, and the next obstacle in his path makes us cringe? Then ten pages later it gets even worse? Sometimes we forget that things can always get worse.
So let’s try again. Is he lost? Let the sun set, make it a moonless night. Then let us know that as a child he was locked…
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