November 22nd, 2012

Fireworks Delight
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 7.47: Raising the Stakes

Writing Excuses 7.47: Raising the Stakes


Key Points: Raising stakes doesn't always mean putting people in danger. To keep people reading, you must raise the stakes, put something that matters at risk. And escalate! Go from hook and danger to more people in danger to lots of people in danger. And sometimes narrow the scope, make it more personal, to raise the stakes. Key is what matters to the character, life, reputation, job, emotional well-being. Don't just make it worse, make it matter.
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[Brandon] We're out of time. I'm sure you can think of others. In fact, I'm going to make that your writing prompt. I want you to think of some sort of stake that can be raised that we haven't talked about here. Something that you can do that's emotionally powerful to your character, but does not involve explosions, reputation, livelihood, or mental health. Then see how you could raise the stakes in a short sequence for that character.
[Howard] You're out of excuses. Sorry about your mental health.
[Brandon] Now go write.

[Brandon] Hi, all. This is Brandon. Hope you enjoyed today's episode. I just wanted to give you a special reminder. Audible has my novella, Legion, up for free in audiobook. So since they're a sponsor of the podcast, I thought I'd give an extra shout out to it. They actually have, if you go to, they have Legion up there. You… There's no trial, there's no strings attached, you just get it for free. So I hope you guys go give it a listen, if you haven't already. You can go to to download it and give it a try.
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