Today’s Writing Tip

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Man vs. Nature is one of fiction’s basic conflicts. This is taken to an extreme when it involves a natural disaster. Which ones occur in your area? Few areas don’t have some geological, meteorological, or regional disposition to such events. How much have you studied the details so you could use such an event in one of your stories? Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts can all add drama to your story as a backdrop to other plot action.

Each one has its own characteristics, warning window, emergency response, preparedness, and aftermath. Knowing the details is what brings them to life in your story whether it’s the sound of wind and raging water, the smell of an approaching wildfire, evacuation shelter logistics, or gridlocked escape routes. If you experience one, yet don’t have a place for it in your fiction, write up the experience for practice as well as inclusion in your personal history for your children and grandchildren. And you may actually use it eventually and be glad you preserved those details that bring it to life.

P.S. If you know me, you can probably guess that as I write this, my area of Central Texas is undergoing record-breaking floods. I’m safe but waterlogged, my septic tank on strike, if you know what I mean. 🙂

Today’s Writing Tip

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Remember that the basic conflicts in fiction as well as life are man vs. man; man vs. nature; and man vs. self. The more of each that you bring into your plot, the more vehicles you have for building plot as well as suspense.

Your protagonist has to work for what he wants and the harder the struggle, the stronger your reader’s engagement will be. In most plots, there will be an overlap of at least two. Be sure to recognize them for what they are.