Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Story Essentials Continued

Recapping as we work our way down the category romance editor's wish list, so far we have:

An opening hook
An appealing, human heroine
A hero to fall in love with. He must be human, appealing and honorable
An original story line.
Dialogue that sings
Emotional roller coaster (highs and lows)

When I thought about examples to illustrate the emotional roller coaster, I got stuck. Emotional scenes don't work well out of context. The reader's heart strings are plucked because she care about your characters. Without that initial investment suffering in meaningless.

Watching the carnage of war or the aftermath of disaster leaves us numb and disbelieving. Too much information, too much emotion it's harder to process. Which is why the journalist will bring the story down to own soldier, one displaced family, one set of grieving parents. A loss we can comprehend.

Breathing humanity into our fictional characters has to precede their trials and triumphs. The reader's expectations both mandate and challenge the execution of the black moment before the final resolution.

How does the writer make the reader who has an iron clad guaranteed happily-ever-after ending doubt the lovers will resolve their issues? By making us believe they are honorable and intelligent people who have a serious (not easily resolved) conflict. Pulling out the believable, yepreviouslylunsuspectedtd answer to the last knot is the writer's last challenge. All that remains after that is tidying up the confetti and champagne corks.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
Free Web Counter