Upping the Stakes

I recently had a bit of an epiphany about my writing: I’m reluctant to make things TOO hard on my characters. Weird, right? But as I see it, they’re my people. In my head, they are vibrant and breathing and sympathetic. My people! Why would I want to torture them?

Because it’s fiction. Because it makes the story better. Because if my protagonist has nothing to lose, why would a reader keep reading? Without high stakes, who cares?

This is my challenge with my next WIP, the one I’m currently plotting.Make things as awful as possible for my characters. Give them crazy challenge to overcome. Create impossible decisions for them to make. Throw in hurdles, both big and small, all along their way.  I’m going to make my characters work for their happy ending, even if I have to torture them to do it. 🙂