Create Strong Obstacles to Make A Super Story

Stories need structure. You don’t have to outline your story but the structure must be there. One of the essential pieces of story structure is the story obstacle or antagonist. As a writer, you know you need a strong obstacle to make a super story, but how does that work on paper?  The Power of the Goal and Problem Your character’s goal and his problem must be powerful enough to engage your reader for the length of the story. Thus a short story problem is short and simple. A novel-length story problem is longer and more complex. And a series of novels have even more complex story problems.  How do you know your story problem is strong enough for a novel? The answer to that question is in your story structure.  Your story starts in the protagonist’s normal world. He has a goal but hasn’t pursued it for internal reasons. If he achieves his goal without difficulty, you have no story. Enter the obstacle or opposition. The obstacle can be one or many things. It can be internal. It can be physical disabilities or challenges. Environmental things such as distance or weather can be an obstacle. Or the obstacle can […]

A Short Writing Lesson: Dogged by Guilt

  Characterization and story set up doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes all it takes is a few well-chosen words and specific reactions. This is especially true when your character is dogged by guilt. Every guilty person is his own hangman.                  — Lucius Annaeus Seneca Can you identify the antagonist, protagonist, and the story question in this video? What other writing lessons do you see in this video? Thanks, loyal readers, for sticking with me. A deadline is looming and I must keep my focus on completing that project. Regular blogging will resume as soon as possible.