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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Crucible

This is often a touchy subject with writers of all kinds. But it is a key ingredient to writing a successful novel.

So, what is a crucible?

To quote Stein On Writing:"Author James Frey refers to a crucible as: The container that holds the characters together as things heat up." - end quote.

Why is having a crucible so important?

To quote Stein On Writing again:"The key to the crucible is that the motivation of the characters to continue opposing each other, is greater than the motivation to run away." end quote.

It's my understanding that the crucible is your characters' driving factor, the one reason they simply cannot stop. It will be the motivation that pushes them to the climatic battle.

Take a married couple for instance. After say a dozen years of being together, having two kids together, and countless years of stress and arguments, what could possible kept them from splitting apart?

The motivation that keeps them together would obviously be the strength of their love for each other, and for their children.

However, their marriage would be their crucible. It ties in with their motivation and keeps them together as the arguments heat up, no matter how rough things get.

I chose that example, because to me marriage is a sacred union and so I felt this example would be the strongest one to get my point across. But crucibles can be an inclosed area, an emotion that is so strong they can't walk away from it, like love, ect.

What are some of the crucibles you've used in your novels? What is your crucible for writing novels in the first place? I'd love to hear your ideas and thank you for listening to mine.

Reference Material: Stein On Writing by Sol Stein.
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