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Write Your Novel
Step by Step

By Melanie Anne Phillips
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~ Step 68 ~


The easiest way to reveal your goal’s requirements is to come right out and say it, such as "You must recover the five holy stones of the idol to seal the dimensional rift."  Of course, there are more interesting indirect ways as well.

The nature of each next requirement might be provided only after the current requirement is met.  This works like game where each clue that is found indicates the location of the next clue until the final destination is reached.

Sometimes, the requirements appear arbitrary until enough of them are met and then a pattern begins to emerge, indicating all that still remain to be completed.

No matter how you reveal your requirements, make sure your readers are ultimately clear on exactly what is required of your characters or your story will seem arbitrary.

Once you have revealed the requirements, however, they still need to be met.  This will likely involve some effort on the part of your characters.  The more difficulty the characters have - the more obstacles in their way - the more dramatic tension builds in your readers.  To take advantage of this, try making each Requirement a miniature Goal, with its own sub-requirements.

Now, describe how you will reveal what the requirements are, then list as many different scenarios as you can in which each requirement comes into play and is met, especially in conjunction with other story points.