Sunday, March 6, 2011

Your Tent pole. Is it high enough...

Yes, let the giggling begin!

Once you compose yourself, we can move on to the topic at hand!

But while you are still trying to control the snickering, let me give you an update on "30 Pieces of Silver's" Bestseller for a Day showing...

Ok, now that you have sobered a bit, let's talk Tent pole.

No, not that one that engenders giggle-fits, but the one that is at the heart of your story.

For those of you who haven't read my other structure blogs, you can head here to start.

Today, I am not so much talking about the Tent pole in relation to the 3 Act structure but about what the Tent pole means to your story.

This action sequence (and remember you can have INTERNAL action as well as bombs and stuff) is a MAJOR raising of the stakes, which we know is key to build any story and satisfy a reader.

This Tent pole also helps to punctuate, carry, and motivate the character work that occurs in Act 2. You need something in the middle of that long Act 2 to kind of not only spice things up but also kick your Hero in the groin... again.

This Tent Pole action shakes up the group dynamic. Many times killing members, making us know how very serious the stakes are becoming.

This is also the point where your villain shines. He isn't just a nuisance, he is a THREAT.

So in summary, the Tent Pole (mine, not yours #wait, #thatdidntcomeoutright) has to be MAJOR. Your villain needs to hit your Hero and hit him good. It is what the entire first portion Act 2 leads up to and the aftermath of this major battle (whether internal or external) is what drives the last part of Act 2.

Build your Tent Pole right, and it primes your audience for your climax. And yes, I do know how that sounded, but you know what I mean!

Alright, onto a more serious-ish subject.
This blog. My Twitter stream and radio show.

Basically I am super, duper, wooper busy and obviously maintaining Writing Without the Drama takes a certain amount of time and energy.

If you want me to continue with all of this, I need to feel the LOVE.
You need to follow this blog. You need to leave comments, you need to RT or @ me on the stream. You need to call into the radio show or leave comments on the BTR page.

If you want the free advice to keep flowing, I need to know that it is doing some good out there!

I will be at SXSW speaking as an expert in digital publishing so there will be no blog next week... well, depending on your response, there may never be another blog! We will just have to see.

Of course if I see that this blog/twitter stream/radio show is really helping people, I will continue. If it turns out I am talking into a vacuum...well, my time is probably best spent on my own writing and marketing of my books :-)

So tell me... Do I continue????


  1. My first time here, and I really enjoyed the post, got me giggling too, lol. Please keep sharing.

  2. Laughing and learning something at the same time. Just found your blog via twitter and hope it continues. Knowledge shared. Thanks!

  3. I think you should continue! It made me want to go back and read the first two posts, so that should be a good sign. Now, I'll go see if I can find them.

  4. I like your stuff, inspiring and practical. Keep it up please!

  5. hey I like your blog and the radio when I have the time, please keep it up!

  6. You are very helpful to all of us writers out there, so keep up the good work and thank you for your time and work!

  7. Keep going! Even when you don't get feedback, it doesn't mean that no one is listening--at least, that's what I tell myself! ;o)

  8. Definitely continue! I love what you have to say, and especially the way you say it!

    You make some excellent points. I think the risky part has to do with how far can the villain go. If he goes too far, he becomes cartoonish. If he backs off too easily, then he does not make a good villain. There is a very delicate line here.