This is a giant parsnip.
Sometimes writers get timid on the page. Unsure. We let our anxieties, or our fear about what people might think, get in the way of the work we’re trying to do. This can make certain scenes or characters or objects smaller than they should be.
Today’s challenge is a reminder to raise the stakes in your writing.
Look at your work in progress. Pick an element and make it bigger. More intense. Flashier or darker. More beautiful. Stinkier (as in the case of Clare Clark’s fantastically odiferous historical novel THE GREAT STINK). Just grab your mental tape measure and increase the size of something.
Then think about the scene you’ve just changed. Has your choice made things more difficult for your protagonist? If so, you’ve successfully raised the stakes. If not, try enlarging a different element. Such tinkering will give you a better idea of how your story is working–and hopefully that’ll lead you to rich new territory.
Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments!