Partway into my Scribble interview for WVIK I mentioned how much I liked my villains. In fact, I liked them so much I hated to part with any of them. Don Wooten and Roald Tweet took the opportunity to digress into a discussion of famous literary bad guys and mentioned how one noted author, I can’t recall who, only had one instance where he wrote about a completely nice person. Wooten asked, “Why is that?” I chimed in with my answer, “Conflict.”
Conflict is essential for a good story to develop, a point that was echoed by a slide in Gary Metivier’s presentation at the recent Children’s Literature Festival. I took a photo and saw that the slide originally came from The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein.
According to Klein’s Five C’s of Plotting, you start with creating a likable CHARACTER that makes the reader care about what happens to him/her.
Next comes the CONFLICT. Klein mentions conflict with stakes.
I think that having stakes must mean an element of risk is introduced because the next step involves the character making CHOICES.
Having choices naturally leads to the CONSEQUENCES of making those choices, those decisions.
Consequences have to build to the CLIMAX of the action and the denouement. Ultimately followed by the satisfying ending.
I must remember these five points the next time I have to make a presentation.
That and how Sarah Prineas patiently went through her main characters basic descriptions and motivations.
It was almost like living my own “Thriller.”