Raising The Stakes

Monday, June 14

No matter how huge the conflict, if it doesn't directly affect the protagonist, why should the character care? Why should the reader care?
By raising the stakes, the protagonist's life becomes more entangled with its conflicts. Things spiral out of control because of the protagonist's attempts to stop the threat.
Examples:

Conflict: War threatens protagonist's homeland.
That's all good and fine, but how does it affect protagonist?
Complication: Protagonist's brother forced to serve in enemy's army.
Now it's more personal.

Conflict: Protag's mother is dying.
Complication: The only known cure is at the end of the world.

Conflict: Character is framed for theft.
Complication: If character can't prove his innocence, his family will be killed.

Conflict: Character's father dies.
Complication: The father left a debt that the character must pay.

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