What did I just say? Make problems worse?
As writers, that’s what we’re supposed to do when we’re writing a story. After all, if two characters have a problem, then solve it, then the story is over. Worse, if it’s too easy, it’s boring for both the reader and us writers.
But if we make it too awful, then it’s hard to read, and harder to write. Besides, the ultimate goal of any novel I write is that it’s a HEA – otherwise known in writerland as a Happily Ever After. It’s hard to make up bad stuff. But then again, when we make a bad thing good, then that’s good. But hard. There is a saying in writerdom that the easier a book is to read, the harder it was to write. That’s very true. One thing that makes a story great to read is going through a bad time in the character’s life and making it so everything is not only good in the end, but great. That’s a good ending. So the worse the situation, the better it is when it’s resolved.
This makes me think of baseball. No my mind isn’t wandering. Much. (okay, some.) When our children are young, as I recall, kindergarten or so, sometimes we put them on a community T-ball team. This is where the ball isn’t thrown, but the child hits it when it’s stationary, on a stand. The child can take as long as he or she needs, and can take as many tries as he or she needs, to hit it. Then he or she runs, and everyone makes it to first base. No outs, and everyone gets a turn every inning. On both sides. There are no wins and no losses, and at the end of the very loooonnnnnggggg season, everyone on every team gets a trophy.
Then compare this to a real MLB ball game. The Red Sox and the Blue Jays are playing. Everyone is on the edge of their seats, bottom of the ninth inning, score is tied.
As a baseball fan, which game would you rather be watching?
Writing is kind of like that. Raise the stakes, up the action, and there is only one winner.