Sunday, July 11, 2010

Keep the Drama Flowing

When writing fiction your plot will always revolve around tension and conflicts. That's what keeps the drama flowing and keeps your readers involved.

I still recall my old high school drama teacher talking to the class about soap operas. She said that soap operas were nothing more than story lines about real life--exaggerated. Those writers must be doing something right since virtually all the soaps on the airwaves today have been around for a good thirty to forty years, if not longer. Here are some good examples of real-life exaggerations that could make for good, dramatic plots for your fiction writing. They've been using them on soap operas for years.

In real life people catch colds or the flu. In a soap opera a character catches a rare, if not unknown, disease, resulting in blindness, deafness, coma, paralysis, or memory loss until some doctor, typically a young intern, discovers the miracle cure.

In real life family members, say and mother and a daughter, have an argument. One may storm off, but before long they make up. In a soap opera the one who storms off ends up being seriously injured in a car crash and remains in a coma for weeks.

In real life boy meets girl and they're attracted to one another. He asks her out and they start dating. In a soap opera boy meets girl, they're attracted to one another and he asks her out. But then another young lady, typically his ex-girlfriend, her best friend, or even her sister, is in love with the same guy and she does everything humanly possible to thwart the relationship.

In real life a boy asks a girl out. She's not interested so she says no. He may ask her once or twice more, then he gets the hint and moves on. In a soap opera he turns into a stalker and kidnaps her. She ends up being held hostage in some remote cabin in the middle of the woods that no one else ever seems to be able to find.

Writing fiction is about considering possibilities outside the normal routine of everyday life, while maintaining a portion of that everyday quality that makes your story believable.

My writing tip for the day.


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