We recently came across an old email entitled Instructions for Life. The 45 positive recommendations on the list are meant to help make one’s life better. By turning some of the instructions upside down and we created bad life advice that will keep novel characters in turmoil.
Next time things are going too smoothly with your WIP try throwing one of these in the mix.
1. Let them believe in love at first sight, but fight it like it can’t exist.2. If they make a mistake, don’t let them be too quick to acknowledge it.3. Let them fall in love deeply, passionately, and with people they would never choose. They might get hurt, but it’s the only way to live life completely.4. Make them fight to keep their values, but make sure they do keep them. No one loves an un-heroic hero.5. Remember silence is sometimes the best answer and unanswered questions are always suspect.6. Let them dredge up the past; it makes for good conflicts.7. Let them read between the lines … a lot. Miscommunication thickens the plot.8. Let them slowly discover that not getting what they want is sometimes the best thing that ever happened.9. Never let them mind their own business. You can’t get in trouble that way.10. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risks, and make them willing to risk everything to reach their goals.
Do you have a favorite trick for keeping your characters in turmoil?
Now if you want to see what we do with our characters how about checking out our series.
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s.