Escalating Emotion in Commercial Fiction Writing
One of the first rules we learn as romance writers is that the Emotional Conflict between the hero and the heroine must not only be compelling enough to carry the relationship to its inevitable story conclusion, but that the Emotional Conflict must also escalate exponentially.
This is actually true of all Commercial Fiction. Whether you’re writing Science Fiction or Westerns or Paranormal, the conflict between the Protagonist and the Antagonist (whether Godzilla, Mom or the Ghost of Christmas Past) must be emotion-based in order to drive the story.
Escalating Emotion Workshop Handout
Below you’ll find a pdf of the handout for the Escalating Emotions workshop I gave at the 2014 Willamette Writers Conference. Along with an annotated example story, the chart lists the steps of Christopher Vogler’s Writer’s Journey, Michael Hague’s Screenplay Structure and James Scott Bell’s Writing from the Middle.
Use the chart as a reference for structuring your story — not as a bible.