Idea (the heart of your story) and Conflict (the fuel of your story)
Can you state the Kernel Idea for your book in one sentence?
Do you have conflict (at two levels: personal and plot) in every scene in your book?
Can you fill out a Conflict Box clearly identifying your protagonist and antagonist and the goals and the conflict that is keeping them from their goals? Is the goal a concrete, external object (not motivation—too many people confuse the two). Do you have inescapable conflict lock? If you don’t you probably don’t have a story.
Go ahead: Give it a shot:
I’m teaching an on-line course at Write It Forward featuring both idea and conflict. The goal is for you to learn how to distill your story back to the Kernel Idea. And then work out your Conflict Box.
Lessons are posted on-line on a Yahoo Loop for you to peruse at your own pace (and also put in a file folder as pdfs so you can download them). You interact as much or as little as you desire.
The first lesson will be posted on 3 March and run for the entire month. Sigh up here:
On other fronts, The ShelfLess Book: The Complete Digital Author is now available in all eBook formats and in print. I’ll blog more about this next week, but it lays out everything we did from selling 347 eBooks in January of last year to 400,000 by the end of the year.
I’ve also begun guest blogging at Digital Book World. It’s an interesting site where a lot of industry insiders post information, comments and interact.
And I guest blog once a month at WG2E on the fourth Sunday of the month. This latest one is actually about ShelfLess.
And if that’s not enough, I’ve been blogging on Wednesday at Genreality and my thread has been on information to help you at conferences, including a recent post on pitching.
And now, back to the most important thing a writer has to do: produce content.
Write It Forward.