obstacles tagged posts

Critique Technique, Part 16: Unclear or Insufficient Obstacles

Back in Part 9 I wrote about conflict. One form of conflict for characters is the obstacles they face: the things that keep them from achieving their goals. Obstacles come in many forms: physical objects, situations, people, animals, laws, psychological or emotional blockages, and more. Pretty much anything can be an obstacle given the right circumstances.

That, unfortunately, can be a problem as well as an opportunity.

The “Right” Obstacles

Black and yellow concrete barriers

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Authors have the opportunity to select the obstacles their characters will face. Pick the right ones and the story’s tension and conflict ratchet right up. Pick the wrong ones, though, and the reader is left scratching his head.

So what makes an obstacle “right?” H...

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