Thursday, November 1, 2012

Inspiration and Edits Day 1

Firstly, before I forget, personal questions or chats can be sent to

workshop ink in the book at g mail dot com

NO Spaces, of course!

Now for the inspiration!

Every story needs conflict. Conflict, conflict, conflict! You hear all the time, right? Some stories do better if there is tension involved, so the conflict can be intense.

I watched PEOPLE LIKE US not to long ago. I enjoyed the tension and the conflict during the story. Secrets abounded and that tension could be felt all the way to the pit of my stomach.

I realized, I need that type of tension, conflict, in my stories. How else will readers keep turning the pages if I can't give them that knot in the pit of their stomach!

So, here's what you need to do:

Write down on the top of a sheet of paper

#1. My MC wants this more than anything else he/she could imagine.

This question and the answer you choose needs to be the center of your story universe. Yes, you heard me. This is what you need to write about, think about, include in all your notes, for the entire manuscript.

#2. This is what stops my MC from getting what he/she wants.

This will vary from scene to scene. It can be anything, from wrong directions to side track love affairs to death. But every scene needs an obstacle for the MC to overcome. EVERY scene.

#3. Stakes.

What is at stake? What will happen? Why should your reader keep reading? What makes the reader want to keep reading? Why does the reader care about what is happening?


Martha is must find her daughter, who has been kidnapped.

Conflict: The kidnapper wants money that Martha doesn't have and hopes to fake them out.

Stakes: The kidnappers can kill the daughter and Martha any time during the transaction because the meeting place is obscure and lonely.

Making your readers care for Martha life as well as her daughter will up the stakes and keep them turning the pages to learn how Martha wins...if she does in fact win.

Story Prompt: Pretend you are in a dream library that has every book you could imagine. You walk to the area that has your favorite genre and scan through the spines of the books, looking for a title that leaps out at you. You found it! What is the name of that book? Make it up, then write about what that title means to you.


  1. Great post and I completely agree on their being a main goal with an obstacle in the way.

    1. Yes, that tip has helped me with every page of my writing!

  2. Great post! I actually need to go apply this to one of the things I'm working on right now!
    My made up title would be Fairie Lullaby. Why? Because I'd be in the fantasy section, I love fairies, and I just like the word lullaby. It's so pretty. :)

  3. That was a inspiring and helpful post. I'm going to try the exercise with my WIP now. Thanks!

  4. great advice, i need to apply it to my WIP.

  5. Great advice, although it doesn't apply to my NF, I can use this for a couple of other WIP's. Thanks.

    1. Hey Debra, I'm working on advice and help for the nonfiction participants.

  6. I will be applying this as I consider what to keep and what to trim in the manuscript!

  7. I would read "Those Damn Blue Eyes" it would be a tragic love story, set in Chicago.

  8. So, I'm going to copy and paste all these posts in a massive folder on my computer. Just warning you. Too, too much good stuff. :)

  9. I totally agree with Katrina. Lots of good stuff here. Thanks so much for doing this. It's only day 2 and you've already beeen extremely helpful. :)


I missed August's posting

Hey you beautiful guys and dolls! I missed posting in August, but I have a really good reason.... My daughter just had her third baby, a...