Wednesday, April 2, 2014

C is for Creating Complications

Most successful stories follow a hero or heroine's progress through difficulties. Each time your main character sorts out one problem the next one should be at the ready. The writers object is to gain the maximum of suspense in your reader. The way your character solves a dilemma should be realistic and believeable. If you are writing for younger children, make sure an adult doesn't step in and solve the problem.

If you want readers to feel satisfied at the end of your book plan a good climax at the end, and don't forget to tie up loose ends. 

At the last SCBWI conference I attended the agents complained about certain cliche stories and twee  characters. These were the plots they were complaining about;

children foiling thieves
finding buried treasure
being cut of by the tide
children helping Father Christmas

I'm not saying don't use one of the stories on the list. However, if you want to use a cliche situation, make sure you add something fresh and exciting. Remember, everyone said boarding school stories were outdated until J.K came along with Hogwarts. 

My conflict test list

Is there a beginning, middle and end? Sounds obvious? 
Are the characters believable?
Is their plenty of conflict?
Is there a problem to be solved?
Is the ending satisfying?
Have you tied up all the loose ends?

If you are an A to Z blogger or any visitor who follows, please put your link to your blog in the comments so I can follow back. Thank you.


  1. Another checklist - thank you, these are going to prove very useful for double checking myself :)
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

  2. Very useful. Thanks!

  3. Great tips! Thanks for sharing this, Comley.

  4. Really appreciate your tips and approach. Glad to have found your blog through the Challenge and I will be following.

  5. The higher the stakes and complications, the more the reader's interest. Cool theme. Consider replacing Captcha with comment moderation to receive more comments.

    Damyanti Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2014, Latest Post

    Twitter: @damyantig

  6. Thanks for visiting and I love the name of your blog. LOL

  7. I really like the stories that have twists and turns . I completely agree that the climax decides the worth of reading the book.


  8. Definitely something to think about for all aspects of writing. Thanks for dropping by my blog!

  9. Thank you so much for all your feedback

  10. Good advice! Happy A-Z! Thanks for stopping by my place. ;)

  11. Getting cut off by the tide? That one seems odd to me.

    Either way, loose ends... those suckers are a pain in the ass. Mainly once a story is complete. I understand cliffhangers and continuations, but at the end of it all I like to have most everything wrapped up and explained. There may be a few exceptions, but not many.

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink