Sage Advice 11: Making The Story Part 2

As we continue our exploration of the infinite worlds of storytelling, I wonder if you have followed my previous advice and come up with your own characters. Well, did you? Do you ever follow my advice? What’s the point of reading my spiritual and physical guidance if you’re just going to sit there and ignore it?

Well, I can’t stay mad at you for long, so let’s continue.

We left off with what storytellers call a cliffhanger. Basically, a cliffhanger is when the masterful scribe is unable to create a coherent or meaningful ending but is also unwilling to part from the sweet nectar that is an unnecessarily ongoing narrative. We all have bills to pay (even those guys who wrote Lost).

But the main point of your plot should be somewhere along the lines of giving your brilliantly constructed characters some kind of conflict or obstacle. It can be physical (like fighting a narcoleptic bear for its precious honey), mental (like getting over a really bad headache), or even spiritual (like kung-fu fighting Buddha.)

You can actually get away with your characters not having a real internal or external struggle. This category of storytelling is known as pretentious. When people don’t know how to generate conflict for the worlds their trying to create, they just write a story about a normal person doing normal stuff for the sake of showcasing what they consider reality. It’s boring, but it wins awards.

Hopefully you’ve gotten more than enough advice to start your own story. So go on, get on a word processer and start typing away the next great whatever you plan on making.


-Matthew Fugere

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