For Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge, “desserts,” I looked at some fun Halloween desserts and found a vegan “white chocolate” recipe. I also loved the idea of putting raspberry filling in the center of my chocolates as blood, so I gave both ideas a try with my Halloween candy mold. The photos tell a Halloween horror story.
flickering fire gathering
filling our mouths with sweets
after dinner treats while
dark encroaches and dreamtime
closes firelight fading
stages for frightening storytelling
fiction milling, smoke smelling manipulator
spinning lore, remaking before, and later,
savor thrills and chills from tales of killing
shivering because we fear taboos
breaking rules even nightmares beware
in the dark
even rules breaking
taboos fear we because
shivering killing of tales
from chills and thrills
savor later and before remaking lore
spinning manipulator smelling fear
milling fiction storytelling
frightening for stages
fading firelight closes dreamtime
and encroaches dark while treats
dinner after sweets
with mouths our filling
gathering fire flickering
Yesterday’s obligatory scenes brainstorm was fun. It led me to starting the exercises in The Breakout Novel Workbook (affiliate link) by Donald Maass. I took a look at the novel’s public stakes and making them worse.
Then I took a look at the worksheets from Writing &Selling your Mystery Novel (affiliate link) by Hallie Ephron. Today I’m going to make a second copy of the protagonist worksheets and fill them out for both my detective and my MC. Once I’ve done that deep-dive into my main characters, I’m going to explore their internal and external conflicts as I continue through the Plotting chapters of The Breakout Novel Workbook.
I just remembered that I bought a copy of The Emotional Craft of Fiction (affiliate link) by Donald Maass this summer. I turned to chapter 5: The Emotional Plot and read:
Many authors motivate their characters with external circumstances. I must do this, because if I don’t, that will happen. The stakes in such stories are also external. Things need to come out right or, gosh, life will be terrible for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with what I call public stakes; they just don’t have automatic emotional effect. Personal stakes are the more reliable way to make a story matter to readers. Personal stakes are why protagonists must act for themselves. It’s the drive that comes from inner need and yearning. It’s what would propel a protagonist toward change, even if the events of the novel weren’t happening.Maass, Donald. The Emotional Craft of Fiction (pp. 82-83). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
And just last night I started plotting in my workbook with exploring public stakes. 😉 So today, I’ll be adding personal stakes to my plot brainstorming.