On Thickening the Plot

I expected that this summer I’d be able to read book after book of my own choosing, so much so that each week I’d have two or three to choose from for a weekly “book of the week” post here on the blog. But that, obviously, hasn’t happened. Luckily, I’m busy with a research assitantship plus a publishing internship, so I’ve had plenty to do, but because I’m busy reading unpublished manuscripts, I haven’t had so much time to read for fun.

So instead of a book of the week, here’s something I’ve learned from the manuscripts I’ve been reading: the climax needs to solve the central conflict of the novel. For example, let’s say you’re writing a romance and you start off with a woman meeting a man and a reason for why they can’t fall in love–maybe they work together and they want to maintain professionalism. This reason keeping them apart is the main conflict of the novel: it is not until the climax of the novel that they should overcome their reservations for good. Continue reading