Several shows have caught my television junkie attention. To join the ranks of Madam Secretary, Quantico, and many others is this week’s feature craft episode from Blue Bloods.
Let’s take a peek at Season 6, Episode 7:
A few years back I had the privilege of attending the Deep Thinkers Retreat with writing mentor Susan May Warren. (The most intense and amazing retreat I’ve ever attended.) The ideas from this craft lesson come from some of the things I learned that week.
The stakes in your novel are the things your point of view character (usually the hero/heroine) has to lose. Stakes are essential to grab your readers’ attention and keep them reading. Finding many ways to intensify the stakes will add unpredictability and tension to your novel.
How To Use Conflicting Values To Up The Stakes With Tips From Blue Bloods:
*Identify what your hero or heroine values above all else. For example: family, loyalty, money, courage, etc. In this case, Erin is the heroine whose values are pitted against one another to intensify the stakes.
*Pit two of these values against each other. In this episode of Blue Bloods, we see two of Erin’s greatest values competing against each other- family and justice. Notice also that a partner of her younger brother is accused of the crime. This brings two types of family into play- NYPD and blood relatives.
*Intensify it by adding an extra layer. Erin also values loyalty, so she feels disloyal to her family. If you watch the full episode you can find by clicking on the first Blue Bloods link in this post, you will hear Erin and her father talk about those values at the very end.
What examples can you think of in a book, on television, or in a movie that show these kinds of competing values to up the stakes?
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