Something has to go wrong

by Ayub

Question: Character 1 is going abroad to spend time with his friend. Things have to go wrong here before and after they meet. I've put in a delayed flight, the friend and host coming late to the airport to receive because of an accident on the way. But I need more, something seriously going awry. Any suggestions? More the better.

Answer: I can't give you a specific answer. It's your job to write the story.

I will suggest that whatever you choose has to fit into the context of the dramatic arc of the story.

For instance, if this is the first chapter of the story, the event in which something goes wrong with the trip could be...

1. The inciting incident of the story--the event which causes the problem that must be resolved by the end.

2. A reaction to the inciting incident.

3. An event that shows who the main character is and his approach to problems that arise.

4. An event that allows the main character to see the impact character for the first time and how the impact character handles problems.

5. An event that establishes the relationship between the main and impact characters.

You have to decide what kind of event this is and what you are trying to show.

It may help to consider what happens next in the story arc so that there is a logical cause and effect link between this event and the next.

P.S. If anyone else wants to post a specific problem in the comments below, go right ahead. I just have to stay out of the business of co-writing.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero