Polishing Stones and Finding Diamonds Inside –
Do you have an excellent story idea? Clever characters, vibrant scenery, wicked energy, all the right ideas in mind. . . and have still written a dull story? Maybe you need a little more conflict or your quick-witted clever isn’t quite showing their originality for the reader or their flaws aren’t moving the conflict forward.
Josh Barkan, on tour next month with his new collection of short stories Mexico, earned his Masters in Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University. He recently shared with Signature Reads the most common fixes for the top three sources of mediocrity he sees – from weak antagonists to the power of coincidence. From his guest post:
How many times have you sat down to either read your own story-in-progress or the story of a fellow student or friend, and found it simply boring? We are reluctant to tell that friend that their story may be well crafted in some ways, but is simply not interesting us. Often, the problem is just a lack of conflict. The antagonists don’t push back hard enough against your protagonist. They never force your protagonist to confront their genuine, internal flaws.
Head over to Signature to read more!