I am an intense person.  Those of you who have ventured over to my other blog, Growing Up Gifted, know this about me.  As a result, my characters are intense.  Or at least, they experience intense things within their stories.  But I do this, not because they are offshoots of my personality.

No, I do this because it creates better drama.

I do not write humor.  Or Chick Lit. Or Literary Fiction.

I write YA.  And YA is a unique genre (check out Beth Revis’ great post on this). As a result, my stories have a highly dramatic story arc.  I am into fast pacing, page turning action and high intensity.

Which got me thinking about how someone goes about creating drama within the story.   Like everything, I think it starts with creating characters I care about.  But not just the protagonist.  The antagonist as well.  Oh sure, I may really really hate the character – but the key is I FEEL something for them – good or bad.

Once I have a strong enough sense of the characters that I have an emotional reaction to them, plot and pacing take over.  This is where the story arc is key.  Take too long to get to the first turning point and I have lost interest.  Likewise, rush the development too much and I also lose interest. 

Dramatic action is built in these sections.

But it is always the key to the climax.  For me, a great climax involves characters that I care about, who have moved through a plot that is interesting and has forced the characters to face really hard things, and now must face something that has the potential to change them forever.  Something HUGE.

When I find myself frustrated with the section of a story, it is usually because the characters have not been pushed beyond their breaking point – there is nothing at stake.  Drama is born when the stakes are high…very high.

What about you guys?  What makes good drama and tension?


3 thoughts on “Creating Drama

  1. I think your last line says it all. “Drama is born when the stakes are high…very high.” Great post as always, Christine. 🙂

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