12.41: Raising the Stakes

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley

When we talk about “raising the stakes,” we mean making the outcomes of the events in a story increasingly important to the reader. In this episode we talk about the tools we use to raise the stakes in ways that are more sophisticated than just queuing up larger and larger explosions.

Credits: This episode was recorded in Chicago by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Try a few of the techniques discussed, especially by making the stakes more personal to a side character. And don’t do it by having anybody be dead.

4 thoughts on “12.41: Raising the Stakes”

  1. When we talk about “raising the stakes,” we mean making the outcomes of the events in a story increasingly important to the reader.

    Not to be confused with “raising the steaks,” which is what cattle ranchers do for a living.

  2. Another page longer and deeper in debt? Well, at least, the stakes are rising! The windy foursome got together to talk about ways to raise the stakes while keeping it interesting for readers. Subplots and other complications? Increasing consequences! Specific and personal. Old solutions, new problems! Give the reader a rest? Stairways to writing? Oh, heck, put it off for a while… Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley chew over all of these, and more, in the transcript available in the archives and over here

    https://wetranscripts.dreamwidth.org/134925.html

  3. I’m currently working on my first novel. I just finished a chapter where the stakes increased substantially for my protagonist. I’m currently writing a scene in the next chapter with rest intentionally built into it. As I listened to this episode I realized that in the same scene the stakes are being raised for one of my side characters, though in a less dramatic way. Is that okay? My main character is certainly experiencing rest but are my readers being cheated because another character’s stakes are being raised at the same time?

  4. Where do you post info about your guest commentators. I thought that Mary Anne made great comments and would like to know more about her books, but I don’t know her last name.

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