C. S. Boyack has a great post on Story Empire today on using turmoil to “write what you know.” We are living in turbulent times, for sure, and our own emotion-filled reactions to that can be used to help us create fictional characters facing turmoil of all sorts in our writing. The cause of the fictional turmoil isn’t as important for that as the human reaction to it is. Check out the post to learn more about how this can work to make you a better writer, and please consider passing it along to others, as well. Thanks, and thanks to Craig for making us think about positive ways to use negative feelings. Well done, Craig! 🙂

Story Empire

Hi gang, Craig here today. One thing good fiction requires is a bit of turmoil. Your main character has to have something unsettling going on in his or her life. I write speculative fiction, so it’s fairly easy to give an example or two.

I could dive right into an alien invasion or zombie apocalypse and have all the turmoil I need. In these examples it’s something the main character never wanted, but now has to come to grips with, maybe even defeat.

Something unwanted might apply in a more realistic setting when settlers have to flee an Indian uprising, or survive a starvation winter because the ships didn’t come.

There are also divorces, loss of employment, sick children, that kind of thing.

Another form of turmoil involves getting what you want, but it turns out to be problematic. Think about that new marriage that leads to her entire family…

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4 thoughts on “Turmoil

    • He sure is. I think I’m now capable of writing a book about a prisoner in solitary confinement and coming pretty close to getting his feelings down to perfection. 😯 (Joke, folks, for those who don’t know me.) But I do have some insights into psychological issues involved with having your normal routines all brought to a half, as I think MANY of us do, at this point. And those are feelings we can all use to create turmoil for our fictional characters.

      Thanks for stopping by today, Trish. Always so good to see you! 🙂


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