Monday, September 14, 2009

Doubt: When It's a Good Thing

“Doubt causes tension, and tension causes conflict, and conflict is the energy that drives stories. -- William G. Tapply in Set the narrative hook: How to write novel openings that will reel in readers. [The Writer, October 2009]

While doubt is crippling for an author who is stuck in a chapter, it’s a necessary part of a story. The reader has to believe that something bad could happen to the protagonist. That the antagonist really might win in the end in some way. What this something is has to be believable too. Will the reader really believe the MC’s life is about to end, especially if reading one book in a series?

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