This week: Creating Drama Edited by: Lilli ☕️🧿 Busy w/Quills
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|While watching a movie, the music creeps into a scene. The type of music often gives a clue about what is going to happen next. Will it be a kiss or a fright, a moment to reminisce, or is someone going to die? |
We can create similar excitement in our stories by interjecting tension, conflict, and drama in the plot.
|Although there are no set rules for creating drama, here are a few things to consider that may be helpful.|
Ask yourself, “What if?” While writing each plot step/element, look for ways to make the story a bit more complex. For example, the story features a boy from the so-called “right side of the tracks” and a girl from the so-called “wrong side of the tracks.” While this is more than enough to derail a relationship, what can you come up with to make the story more dramatic? Maybe there’s some old history between the families or the town. Think about a past crime, a secret, or an unresolved issue that makes the differences between the main characters and their backgrounds more contentious. Revealing this complication slowly over time may also add an element of mystery; thus increasing the drama.
Let there be risks
Make sure your protagonist has something to lose. Using the same example from above, what if the boy goes against his parents’ wishes and pursues the girl in secret? This sounds dramatic, but we could make the stakes even higher if the young man not only risks losing the trust of his parents but also has a problem with one of his best friends. Maybe his best friend refuses to cover for the boy because she doesn’t want to lie, or he doesn’t think they should be a couple either.
Make it personal
Show deep and heartfelt emotions in your characters. Continuing with the story idea above, you can write about many mixed emotions experienced by the characters. Worry of discovery, guilt over deceiving his parents, and fear of losing a meaningful friendship could counter love for the girl. Emotional responses may be primarily internal, but they can be expressed and should go beyond the clichés.
Add tension to every scene
Many writers believe in the adage, “tension on every page.” This may seem daunting, but it’s not terrible advice. Even during a loving scene between our boy and girl, it’s possible that the boy cannot keep her worries completely at bay. Let’s not forget how the girl may react to his dilemma. She may start feeling like she’s not him fighting for her. Problems can intrude on even the happiest of times.
These are not the only ways to add tension and drama, but hopefully, they will give you some ideas and get you ‘thinking outside the box’!
| ||The Station (13+)|
Two siblings with different relationships to their father visit his abandoned work site.
#2285204 by William Cole
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|Comments received from my last Drama Newsletter, "Idioms" :|
Choconut ~ Memoir? Me? Eek! wrote:
This newsletter is fab, Lilli! My American hubby found it hard to get to know some of our idioms when he first moved over here. It had never occurred to me they were English, as in the country, not the language. "Donkeys' years" and "Bob's your uncle" were the ones that literally struck him dumb the first time he heard them. I guess they don't make a lot of sense when you really think about them. But, you're right. They are great tools for writers.
Thanks for sharing, Rachel. I'm so glad you enjoyed the newsletter!
BIG BAD WOLF is Merry wrote:
There's all sorts of sayings.
"If it was a snake, it would of bit you" is used in my family when you try looking for something, and it was right in front of you the whole time.
That's a great one and one I've heard many times! Thanks for sharing.
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