Monday, April 11, 2011
For the letter I, I received 52 suggestions. Random.org selected number 4: icicle.
PS--My Mondays and Wednesdays have me running around without good internet access all day until 9pm EST (US). I'll get back to you, but it might be late tonight.
stabbing someone with an icicle, like in Die Hard 2?" (Link goes to YouTube. Watch at your own risk.)
Okay, while I do have my roots in horror movies, I don't really want to talk about stabbing people with icicles. But let's talk about the context of the situation in which the icicle became necessary.
Death is imminent. A man hovers over the MC, his knife inching closer and closer to our beloved hero's throat, held off only by our hero's strength. MC notices icicles hanging nearby. And ingenuity and creativity do the rest, thus saving the day and killing the bad guy.
Like how I skimmed over the details? You could be reading this on your lunch break. I don't want to make you sick!
Connect this to Friday's post (just a little). We've got our MC in imminent danger, the game-changing situation, death at the doorstep and all that tension-building jazzy goodness. Our poor hero has been stripped of everything, and the only reason we know he won't die is because it's an action flick from 1990, and the hero can't die (or how else could they have made Die Hard 3?). But you still worry. Maybe all that talk about the next installment was fluff. Maybe they said those things to make you think the hero wouldn't die. But... but...
Luckily, in terms of creating that tension, we're not writing 1990s screenplays (well, I'm not, anyway). We aren't tied to keeping our characters alive, and our readers know that. The MC's hand could slip, and that knife could... (well, I still don't want to make you sick) ...hurt him/her.
My point? (no pun intended) Make your characters sweat. Put them in impossible situations. Maybe they won't get out. Is that such a bad thing? No always.
What's the worst situation you've put your characters into? Have you given them the ability/abilities to get themselves out? Or do you just like to see them squirm?
Also, taking suggestions today for the letter O. Have some? Leave them below. Thanks!