Last week I couldn’t help thinking about ‘high stakes’. Especially while grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. You forget something like butter and the whole freaking meal risks to become an epic fail. You have to be on top of things- stay focused! Eyes on the prize!! And when you manage to get the turkey and all the fixings on the table at the same time? Well, designated Thanksgiving chefs should be awarded a yearly medal by the mayor or something in my opinion.
Unfortunately, creating the perfect meal probably won’t float when you’re looking for the high stakes in a novel. You need something a little more universal- something that will hit closer to home. This is a list of the leading ‘stakes’ I’ve noticed in most novels:
-If you fail- Your loved ones will DIE!
-If you fail- YOU will most surely DIE!
-If you don’t catch the killer, then people you don’t know will DIE!
-Society as you know will be forever changed for the worse
-You will lose your reputation/standing/friends
-Lose your worldly goods or capacity to provide
-Lose your chance at True LOVE (in the case of most romance novels)
-When the MC has some person/place/thing/ or status that they wish to obtain at the set out of the story in order to have a better life. If they fail- their lives might not be any worse off than when we began but by the end of the novel, this outcome should feel like it would be a worst-case scenario.
What other frequently used ‘high stakes’ can you think of?
Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!