Monday, April 30, 2012

Create Dynamic Tension in Your Writing

New Tips for Writers:

Every good fiction book needs to include pain and conflict followed by detailed attempts at pain resolution, if the story is to be more than grandma's garden variety brand of story telling.

If your story is to captivate an audience willing enough pay money to buy it, you will need to create something that catches the reader's attention. 

Once you have an idea of the pain or list of pains your character or characters either have or will endure, the story can then become the unfolding account of attempts at resolving the pain resolution.  In fiction, the pain and conflict can be outrageous and fantastic; after all, fiction stories do their best when they transport the reader into a new world.


Non-fiction books and articles can follow a similar format in order to pack an impactful punch.  A non-fiction book or article can talk to a need (pain), but the pain will be more common to the intended reader (how can you sell books or articles if there aren’t enough readers with a similar problem, right?).  The problem or pain will be one the reader wants an answer for and to which he is willing to fork over cash in order to solve.

Once the pain is identified in the non-fiction book, the writer can proceed with telling the stories of typical conflicts a person may experience while trying to resolve his/her pain.  To pack a wallop, the non-fiction book needs to have at least one but hopefully more good takeaways, otherwise the reader may feel the book was a waste of money and give it a bad review or rating, or non at all.

To write with this dynamic tension concept in mind, include these guidelines:

·              In fiction, focus on what the character in the story wants

·              In non-fiction, focus on what the reader wants or for a memoir type story, the pain of the author

·              Address self-created obstacles and questionings

·              Address obstacles or aids created by the immediate circle of relationships and environment

·              Outline obstacles thrown in by the outside world that the character may have little control over

·              Have your character lose some battles and win others—and in non-fiction, have your reader consider a number of problem-solving options

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