By Valerie Routhieaux
Day 27 – Dramatic Through Lines
Today’s tip comes from the book, Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D.
Selecting a Dramatic Through Line. A dramatic through line is the main direction of your characters whether you have a plot-driven or character-driven book, the through line is what makes your characters achieve their goals—in most cases staying alive to the end, especially when you’ve got a lot of dinosaurs chasing you as in Jurassic Park. Or aliens coming to take over your world as in Independence Day.
It might not be staying alive that drives your character. It might be finding love as in romances, finding the reason why as in mysteries.
Your through line is what keeps your readers reading, and the more dramatic you make it, the more they will keep turning those pages.
There are five types of dramatic through line:
1. The main character succeeds
2. The main character is defeated
3. The main character abandons his goal
4. The main character’s goal is undefined
5. The reader creates the goal
No matter what kind of story you’re writing, there wouldn’t be a dramatic through line without characters. What are your favorite types of books based on those five types of dramatic through lines?
Tomorrow’s Perspective: Conflict