O stands for Opportunities

I’m not talking about financial opportunities, or anything anyone else would consider ‘real world’. I’m referring to the golden opportunities in unpublished novels.

It really is a chain reaction. If your MC doesn’t have an opportunity to do whatever it is that’s motivating him, there is no way for your story to move forward. It’s your job as the writer to make sure those opportunities make it onto the page in such a way that the reader finds them believable. Because, let’s face it, without that believability factor they won’t read the rest of your novel. And isn’t that the entire goal? I’m sure there might be some writers, somewhere, who never ever share their work… but I don’t know of a single one…

The same can be said for the bad guys. (Every novel needs at least one perceived ‘baddie’.) Your challenge is to ensure your bad guys get the opportunity to potentially ham-string your MC, sometimes more than once, before the novel ends. Whether they succeed or not is utterly beside the point. It’s not what keeps your reader…ummm… reading. What should keep your reader turning the pages is the cat and mouse game which ensues once your MCs meet up with, or realize they are being pursued by, the bad guys. That’s what ultimately brings the novel to a climax and leaves your readers sweat soaked, sitting back in their chairs, thinking to themselves ‘Whew. Wasn’t sure that was gonna happen!’

 

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