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How to add emotional depth and drama to your novel so readers actually care what happens.

This video is week six of my 12-week course on novel writing.

This week you’ll be writing towards the midpoint of your novel. In this section (exploring the new world) you’ll be focused on developing your protagonist’s sense of self-identity in relation to the new characters, plot events or information, scenes or settings, or new world/experiences she encounters. Challenges will make her question her self-worth, sense of belonging, or values, and external threats will force her to choose to defend or fight for a new identity or sense of self-belonging in relation to this new world or experience, moving from victim to warrior.

There are only a few slides in this video so I’m posting the bulletpoints below.



The first act was to hook interest, what’s happening.

The next part is… why is this happening to me?

• Finding answers, feeling at home
• Getting used to the new
• Learning the rules and how it all works
• Fighting for stability, normalcy, acceptance
• Struggling for control or autonomy or understanding
• Revealing the dangers and challenges, small trials and quests (motivations) – discovery goals (find out what’s happening and why)
• Grappling with the threats, risks and seeking a solution

It’s good to show more conflict happening; if possible it would also move the needle forward or drop some new information or backstory.

• Who is doing this, how do we stop it?
• Whoever is doing this, they’ll need
• How do I get out of this
• How can I get back to normal?
• Never guess the truth (defer knowledge)
• Show the opposite
• AM I ENOUGH? You’ve got the wrong person.
• Understanding, conviction

• A world worth fighting for / friends to care about

• The emotional bonds, friends, family, friendship

• Being nice, caring (contrasted with, feeling bad/terrible/alone/weak/useless/ignored/unappreciated)

• screwing up (struggle to PROVE themselves).

• Laughter and levity (world worth saving)

• Heartwarming or heart wrenching backstory (tied to the questions they would be asking).

• Small words, deeds or sayings that can have a big impact when remembered later.



Watch all the videos (complete series) on YouTube


If you don’t have time to watch all the videos, but want to improve your writing craft, self-edit your book, and make a living with your writing – you can preorder my book for some exclusive bonuses.

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