I've been fussing at two separate shows in the past week or so, and both times I hit a wall. I had a really interesting character in one case, and a character in an interesting situation in the other. Somehow they weren't catching fire.
I've cracked both, I think. And the solution was simple enough. I had not put the central characters in dire enough difficulties.
Dire difficulty doesn't necessarily mean "demons trying to drag you to hell." If you are Buffy, that's par for the course. For Buffy, trying to work at the Doublemeat Palace is much more dire. She knows
how to fight demons. Make a living on minimum wage, not so much.
If your concept isn't catching fire, maybe you haven't confronted your main character with a serious enough structural conflict. Put him or her in a situation where they are daily facing that with which they have the most trouble dealing. For Raymond, it's his family. For Joan of Arcadia, it's God.
Whoa...in that brief post you just solved a giant problem that was looming in this thing I'm writing, even though I hadn't realized I was having the problem yet. Hurray! I love your book, by the way. They need to hurry up with that new one!
Love you blog and your book. Taught a course at a small midwestern university this year and your book was our required text.
I'm in the middle of a Hollywood soap opera with my script as well. If you have a second - check out my blog.
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