My dog wakes up at 5 A.M. each morning and whines to be let out.
The cat meows at precisely 5:15 A.M., wanting ice cubes in his recirculating water dish, and again at 9:00 P.M. to remind me to brush him.
My dog sits by the door at 3:45 P.M., waiting for my husband to come home from work.
If you have pets, I’m sure you’ll agree that they are creatures of habit.
So, what about people?
Do they like things the same, day after day?
Sometimes…but unpredictability spices things up.
Think about books you’ve read and movies you’ve watched.
You wait patiently while the story is getting set up, but then if something doesn’t happen pretty soon to knock your socks off, you lose interest.
In a book, it is an event that changes the course of the story from “same-o- same-o” into something worth investing our time in.
And, we have to know—we just simply HAVE to know—what will happen next.
So, we read on.
If our books just meander around without purpose and without thrusting our hero onward in pursuit of
the beautiful girl,
the new job,
Or out of the clutches of
or the wicked stepmother,
readers won’t keep reading.
So, after you establish what is normal life for your character, then disrupt the normal (he suffers a loss…he’s betrayed…) and get him on his way to
the rest of the story
and the Black Moment,
which I’ll talk about next time…