When doing concept a couple weeks ago, I popped off a few examples to show each master's way of writing concept. When illustrating Mr. Iglesias’ approach, I wrote this: A high school dance troupe rallies around its wrongly suspended captain to form a karate team and take state before they graduate. This concept sentence didn’t come out … Continue reading Stakes: Show us what you’ve got!
A couple weeks ago we looked at how master novelists write one-line synopses. One of them really emphasized stakes, so I picked that one to read with an eye for developing, heightening, and deepening stakes. Ladies and Gents, I give you: some of the stakes in James Patterson's Hope to Die. SO HOW DOES PATTERSON DEVELOP HIS STORY’S … Continue reading Stakes: How James Patterson does it
The masters agree: stories most often fail because the stakes aren't high enough. But there is plenty we can do to ensure lack of stakes doesn't happen to our stories. WHAT ARE STAKES? Although many masters discuss them, only a few actually define stakes: For Karl Iglesias, "Stakes are what your character has to win or lose;" they "are … Continue reading Stakes: So what? Who cares?