How to Write: Refusal of the Call

How to Write: Refusal of the Call

Hey there How to Write fans! I hope you are getting down some good stuff. Have you had a chance to read the first three chapters of our blog book?

I haven’t gotten any entries for the contest. If you guys don’t help me title it and take this $10 Amazon gift card, I will have to do it all myself. You know you don’t want that!

I am going to let the contest go through the end of the month. In fact, the How to Write series is going to end at the end of the month as well. It was not designed to be a forever thing mainly because the truth is, in order to get a book written, you have to write. The best writing advice is to just sit in the writing chair and start the process. Just do it, as Nike said.

I hope to at least get through middles and ends of books with you before we stop.

We discussed putting the character in the ordinary world of their life, and giving them a call to adventure which will beging the story moving forward. The next thing you have to put them through is called the REFUSAL OF THE CALL. In our blog book, our ladies are going to be asked to join a fitness program. Now, just ask any member of the donut-a-day crowd–asking a woman to join a fitness club is a very bad thing. You have to make her want it. You have to make her understand how much she needs it. Watch some of those infomercials about fitness at 2 am and you will see how hard they try.

Now think of this: She won’t want to do it. She will back away and shake her head in a definitive no. She will find every excuse not to. But wait. Shouldn’t she find that the stakes are so high that she HAS to do it or something terrible will happen?? Well, yes. Exactly. So, as the book creator, I have to have a good reason to make these characters take on this call to adventure. I have to have a reason to send them off on this journey. But that act of saying no is a pretty important part of the first pages of your book. It shows the character’s best and worst traits.

The refusal of the call sets up the consequences your characters face if they refuse. Example: If Thomas Davidson doesn’t exercise, his diabetes is going to kill him. See? Pretty strong stuff. It also makes the character three-dimensional. We all struggle as humans. We have to make our paper people struggle too. This is a great way to write!

It’s called conflict.

I hope you are working on the refusal of the call for your book. Don’t forget about the contest to name the blog book! And be sure to check back this weekend for chapter four.

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About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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