Thursday, September 2, 2010

Writing Conflict

As I mentioned in my last post I attended Education Week and one of my favorite classes was taught by Dawn and Morris Thurston. I would like to share another tip from their web site,

“Include Suspense and Conflict--Like novels, life stories need conflict and suspense to keep readers interested. Every good story needs an antagonist, something or someone the hero (you) struggles against, whether it's society (prejudice), nature (weather), internal demons (addictions), or other people (your cantankerous spouse). When you dismiss your life struggles with cursory summaries, you keep your readers at a distance. You hide key information that helps them understand you better. So, develop those conflicts. Your life story should be filled with incidents that let your readers visualize your hopes, dreams, and worries. They'll love you for it and they'll root for your success.”

The example in last week’s post is an excellent sample of adding suspense to the story. As you read that paragraph, don’t you find yourself wanting to find out what happened? Adding suspense can be challenging, but adds so much to your history and will keep them reading (which is the main purpose we are writing these histories). Try it out and see if your readers enjoy the history more with some conflict and suspense included.

Chris Stevenson

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