To Do for Week 7: Stakes and Voltage

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T 10/1

  • Week 6 Blog Post Due: Heather Digiacomo

  • Quiz 6: Baggott, Pure (pp. 293-431)

Th 10/3

  • Weekly Words #6, due by Sunday, 10/6 at 5 PM. Focus: Your novel needs lots of tension. Write about how the situation for your character could matter more, how you can make things worse for them, how you can make them suffer more. Does your novel need “frontloading” or a ticking clock? At least some of this is about figuring out why this story matters to you personally. If you haven’t already created the novel’s bridging conflict, do so now.


  • A lot of my material this week comes from Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. The idea of the Bridging Conflict especially.

  • Make it your goal this week to have a solid bridging conflict. But that is the only thing you should be going back to do. Keep moving forward as much as possible. Don’t spend a lot of time revising.

  • Whatever new words you write this week, try to make sure there’s some kind of tension, some kind of voltage jump on every single page.

  • Spend some time thinking about what’s at stake in this novel–not just for your characters, but for you. Why do the themes of this novel matter to you? How can you make it matter more?

  • Do you feel like you’re ready to trade work yet? Consider showing someone you really trust your bridging conflict, your opener. All you’re looking for is: would you be interested in reading on? If you don’t feel ready, that’s fine.



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