Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Danger Zone

It is reported that one of the most dangerous parts of a car trip is the last few miles to the destination. The driver is tired and the guard is down.

You can find that danger zone elsewhere. Which part of a novel is most likely to be botched? The ending. In some cases, the flubbed conclusion may have been planned from the start although some novels leave the impression that the writer simply didn't know what to do with the characters. Whatever the reason, if a novel is going to crash, it will likely do so in the last few pages.

Some common elements of danger zones are:
  • Fatique
  • Lack of focus
  • Boredom
  • Abandonment of the plan
  • Thinking too far ahead
  • An assumption that details can be ignored
  • Hubris
  • Undue haste
  • Complacency

Any others?

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