The 2 Cs in Storytelling, Part Two: Climax

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(Photo credit to: Donnie Nunley, on Flickr)

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of “climax” is:

the most exciting and important part of a story, play, or movie that occurs usually at or near the end

: the most interesting and exciting part of something : the high point
To some the climax comes when the resolution or answer to a quest occurs; while to others it is when the apex of the action occurs.

I’ve learned that whichever it ends up being, everything else in the book has to prepare for that moment. Each chapter needs to be one step towards it. Each scene needs have to an importance to that climax. It is kind of like the compass of the book, the characters are on a journey but they still must stay on course.

The center of the tale is a perilous place where many writers can feel like they’ve lost their way. But if they remember the motivation behind their characters or their end goal, it can help them to get back on track.

When this happens to me I try to ask myself questions, for example:

~Has So&So gotten what they wanted in the beginning?

If not then I ask, what needs to happen before they do?

~Has their problem been resolved yet?

If not then I ask, what events need to occur before that happens?
What do you do to direct your characters towards the climax of their tale? 

The 2 Cs in Storytelling, Part 1: Conflict

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(Photo credit to: Jack Fussell, on Flickr)
I’ve been reading a lot of Wattpad stories lately and while doing so I’ve been learning a lot of lessons as a writer.
I’ve learned about what certain audiences crave. Thus, I’ve come to think more about what kind of audience I’m hoping my book will have.
I’ve also learned more about conflict and climaxes. I’ve found that although a story might be cute or “fluffy” with no conflict, without a defining moment or climax I can quickly lose interest.
I’ve read several stories that seem to drag on, and never actually go anywhere.
Whereas there have been other tales that have had all their chapters and scenes leading up to one defining moment; and I find I tend to eat those stories up more than the other kind.
What is it about the element of conflict that makes a story more interesting?
For me it’s all about the characters, because its often in the face of conflict that a character’s development truly shines. Conflict will force a character to act and they will show what they are made of. In the face of conflict they will show both their weaknesses and strengths. Fiction often mimics life in this way and that’s why I think we draw strength from reading about characters battling their own conflicts.
What about the defining moment of the tale? Next week my blog post will cover the other “C” in storytelling, the Climax.
As a reader how do you feel about conflict? As a writer how do you incorporate conflict in your work?

Writer’s Wall: The Power of Music

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(Photo credit to: Petras Gagilas, on Flickr)

Today I’d like to talk about the nearly magical cure for a writer’s wall.

Music.

Sometimes nothing seems to work to absolve a writer’s block.

You’ve gone outside, experienced new things, soaked in nature, made awesome mood boards and even tried your hand at vignettes.

The one thing you haven’t tried is getting lost into some magnificent instrumentals.

The wonderful thing about music is that it takes you away. You will be one moment listening and the next you are WITHIN the music itself. You are soaked into the lines of melody. You become one with it.

Music has the power to transport you to a place between dreams and the corners of your imagination.

This can happen with really any kind of music, but when you are writing a fiction novel sometimes it is best to stick to a theme.

Here are a couple of examples:

For my novel “A Victorian Tale” I found that music from and inspired by the Victorian era was very helpful when writing. I also added some steam-punk music and some sprinkling of sci-fi.

  • My Youtube playlist had music from various soundtracks and orchestrations made from users that fit to different thematic plots within my story.
  • My itunes playlist holds music from the soundtracks of “Becoming Jane”, “Pride & Prejudice”, and even “Doctor Who”. One of favorite finds on itunes was an album called “Tales of Steampunk London” by composer Jason Cullimore. The album perfectly portrays so many of the different elements in my novel.

For my Wattpad novel “The Land of Fear” I found music that reminded me of arid desert lands, ancient kings and lost worlds.

  • One of my go-to places for story inspiration through  music for TLoF is Pandora, there I have a station called “Marco Polo” (song by: Loreena Mckennitt) that has a good mix of music that is quite inspiring for my story.
  • My other source is my itunes playlist that has a mixture of soundtracks from “The Mummy”, “Faith” (kdrama) and plenty of soundtracks composed by Two Steps From Hell.

 

Do you use music to cure your writer’s block/wall? What kind of music do you listen to?

 

“The Land of Fear”

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Cover made by: xXArachnidXx

On March 27th of this year I took a leap that I had been debating upon seriously for a little less than a month, but had thought about for over a year.

I published my chapter of my current MS, “The Land of Fear.”

As my husband put nicely, “It’s a risk, but I think it’s worth it.”

The risk being my fear of someone stealing my story. But that’s the thing, they would not have my voice and they don’t have the world in their mind. I realized it wouldn’t be impossible for someone to steal it but I thought of something more important than that.

I want to know what readers around the world would think about my writing. Wattpad gives me the chance to find out. I’m willing to take the risk if that means I get people to read my work. Isn’t that why most of us write?

It’s not for the money…no that’s unrealistic…No it’s for the rush we get when our fingers speed across a paper our pen grasped tightly between our digits. We write to explore new worlds and new minds. We write so that other’s can see a different point of you. We write to make a change, even if its to the smallest degree.

Are you a writer on Wattpad? Have you ever given your writing out for free? What are your thoughts on this?