Tormenting Your Characters

As writers, we know that the key to creating tension is to put obstacles in our character’s paths.  There are various ways that you can do this:

Limit your character’s movement either due to the character’s on physical limitations (a broken leg) or through setting (a space craft).

Create a ticking clock which can be as literal as  bomb that must be defused or a limited air supply or more figurative like a contest deadline.

Give your character a flaw that makes her life more difficult.  Maybe your character is a gossip or finds herself lying to seem more important.

But there’s something else you can try.

Have your character’s difficulties come not from her weaknesses but from her strengths.  How much more tension would it create if your loyal law-abiding character must confront an immoral law?

Read more about this at my post on the Muffin, Cooking Up Complications: Making Things Tough for Your Character.

–SueBE

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