This week: Nailing that Dramatic EssenceEdited by: Lonewolf
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There is something powerful about a story that just wraps around you and sucks you in, making you forget your own problems and forces you to care about those of an often fictional character or at least someone to whom you have no personal connection. There’s something powerful about a story that can reduce you to tears. There’s special about a good story that can make you think, reflect, feel, and react emotionally. A good drama is a combination of character and plot development.
When we describe a situation or a person’s behavior as “dramatic,” we usually mean that it is intense, exciting, striking, or vivid. The works of drama that we write share those elements. For example, if you are watching a television show, and feelings of tension and anticipation arise it's because you are wondering what will happen between the characters. Will they shoot each other? Will they finally confess their undying love for one another? When you are reading a drama, you may have similar questions.
Drama is the backbone of any short story, or novel. Even comedies must have some type of drama, or the plot won't move forward. Drama doesn't always mean that people are arguing or physically fighting. Drama simply means that tension or conflict exists. This tension can come in the form of uncomfortable silence, a revelation that adversely affects another character or a lie being told. However, the drama is created, it needs to move the plot along, and shouldn't feel artificial. Don't try to force drama where there is none. Conflict should make the reader want to keep turning the page.
For readers to get emotionally invested in your story, they have to feel for your characters just as they would for real people. Before you can convince your reader that your characters are real, you must get to know them so well that they become real to you. What I suggest is to take the time to create a biography for your character. The bio can be however long as you want it to be. This can be done for all of the main characters and secondary that will have any impact on the story line to help flesh out why they are the way they are. As with anything, do what you feel is right and have fun writing.
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