Albert Laila Panama — How to create Amazing Drama in Your Fiction
If you’re going to write small stories, it’s necessary to know what works. Whether you’ve hit the doldrums on a particular story or you’re not sure how to start writing, the three character rule will add amazing drama to your fiction. Albert Laila Panama says that the readers love drama; they love conflict; they want to see and feel something brilliant or intense or weird happening. Concentrate the power of your fiction by using these rules.
What is it?
Every story should have three characters that contribute to the drama of your story, and each character has his/her own role to play. The different roles are as follows:
This one is clear. This manages a central viewpoint. Whether you’re writing in first or third person, no matter. This character has the most camera time. The conflict is theirs, and the reader should be rooting for them — even if s/he doesn’t want to. This character has the most to gain, and the most to lose.
For whatever reason, the central character is struggling with or against this character. S/he may be examined to get information from him, trying to manage her behavior, trying to convince him of something… the chances are endless. Interestingly enough, the opponent character may or may not be aware of this conflict. As in life, s/he, simply by living, can be building a serious disturbance in the central character’s force. Their very existence creates an obstacle that the central character must surmount.
Supportive character plays a bigger part in longer stories. In flash fiction, this may simply enter the central character’s mind to communicate something necessary to the reader. Whether s/he plays a huge or little role, the supportive character supports the central character realizes something significant, either through the words they say or how they live. But in whatever manner, the supportive character pushes the central character (and the reader) into that a-ha moment of epiphany. They’re crucial to every short story.
If you’re having difficulty with a particular story, look at who the central character is, and what he/she wants from the opposition. If this is clear, your story will be too. The three character rule is an easy way for you to understand this conflict, to enhance the intensity in your writing, and to sharpen the drama in your fiction so that it resonates with amazing energy. Happy writing!