Rachel Hauck, Princess Ever After

Putting Up Road Blocks — Story Road Blocks That Is!

Monday Susie blogged on 7 Twists and Turns to add to your novel!

I thought I’d piggy back on her post and add some detail to one of her fantastic tips.

Let’s look at her 7th twist: Chose the Worst Case Scenario.

Susie writes: After every scene, Ask: What is the worst thing that could happen to my character right now? Then, follow up with – can I make that happen (or something similar to it?) When you sit down to consider all your options – and then choose one that is reasonable yet unexpected, you add in the element of unpredictability in your novel. And readers love it when they say, “Oh, I did NOT see that coming!”

Maybe I’m alone in this but whenever I think of raising the stakes or putting up obstacles (road blocks) or choosing the worst case scenario, I think of things like buildings blowing up, terrorist attacks, life threatening diseases, death, mayhem, destruction! (All State anyone?)

Well, I know I’m not alone. I can tell by some of the stories I read or contest entries. Random, bizarre, something-not-even-related-to-the-story happens.

Here’s the deal, if you’ve worked on your character journey/story arc and you know the probable epiphany of your hero, then all of the road blocks must fit within that story line.

Just shutting the door in someone’s face can be a sufficient and effective story block. Or as Susie calls it “worst case scenario.”

I’m working on rewrites for How To Catch A Prince.

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Overcoming Obstacles In Pursuit of Writing

You know what I re-discovered after last month’s blog? Not only must we do the next thing to pursue the writing dream, sometimes that means jumping hurdles. Some large, some small.

My son Caleb is running track this year. Ask me about basketball and we can converse. Track? Not so much. Needless to say this Momma is learning a whole new sport. One of the races Caleb’s coach has him running hurdles is the 110m Hurdle race.
I was amazed to watch him jump the hurdles. The first miracle? That this chick has a son with legs long enough to run jump hurdles (I’m only 5’1″). He picked up speed and kept jumping them one after another. Some he sailed over, others he clipped.
It made me think about the writing journey. I want consistent victory–to sail effortless over every hurdle. Every. Time. But it doesn’t work that way. While parts of the writing journey, seem effortless. Others? It takes work and determination. For instance, editing was never my strong suit and it still isn’t. Those I tend to hit the hurdles on.

The important thing is to stay on track, focus and run your race. You probably won’t master every aspect of writing, especially if you’re like me, starting out. But you will eventually.
Here are three things to

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Social Media Minute—The Basics for Building a Strong Platform through Social Media

Anyone who reads this blog knows I believe it’s possible to build a strong platform through social media. I should, I did it. Beyond that, I’ve helped hundreds of other writers do the same things.

But with all the posts I’ve shared over the years, I haven’t lately laid out all the basic building blocks, at one time—in one place. Today I’m going to do just that.

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Extreme Book Makeover: 7 Twists and Turns to add to your novel!

A great story is plotted by looking inside your character, figuring out what his lie is – and how this journey will somehow set him free – and then putting him in situations that make him confront his lies, his flaws and his weaknesses until he takes a good look at himself, figures out what he wants, and charges forward into a new future.

I know, that’s a bit oversimplified, but a story, boiled down, is simply about a character’s inner change, brought about by the external circumstances.
However, how do we make those circumstances intriguing enough to keep our readers’ attention?

At My Book Therapy, we have a character change chart/questions that helps us generate ideas on this journey. However, if you’ve already plotted this journey, and are still stuck, here are 7 ways to add more “trouble” or Twists and Turns into your plot.

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