Posted by: Kerry Gans | July 4, 2017

Add Fireworks to Your Fiction

We at the Author Chronicles wish all our readers a safe and fun 4th of July!

Happy Birthday, America!


The 4th of July is synonymous with fireworks for many people. The anticipation, the colors, the excitement…it’s exactly what we writers want to infuse into our fiction. How do we put fireworks into our fiction? Conflict.

Conflict isn’t always flashy. It starts off with a slow burning fuse, something that builds tension until BOOM! The inciting incident explodes all over the page and the fireworks commence in earnest.

Some of the blowups in your story will be low and small, designed to keep the reader moving forward, others are high and huge, designed to make the reader gasp as they wonder how—or even if—the protagonist will overcome that obstacle.

The colors are varied and dazzling. The green of jealousy, the blue of loyalty, the orange of anger. Some explosions are multicolored, fading from one color to another, representing the emotional nuances that give conflict depth and meaning.

Even the duds—those loud bangs accompanied by a blinding flash of white light—have their place. Done correctly, the duds can be clever red herrings, slights of hand that leave your reader wondering but don’t leave them feeling cheated at the end.

All the conflicts eventually coalesce into a grand finale where every seed planted explodes at once, creating a breathtaking culmination of all the struggles so far. When the finale dies down, the reader is left with a moment of stunned silence, and then erupts into the cheers that accompany a satisfying end to a story.

Conflict and tension are necessary in any compelling tale. All stories need fireworks, even the quiet stories. The fireworks needn’t be the huge silver-and-gold glittering globes of the finale—a softly hissing sparkler will often do the job just fine.

Draw in your readers, keep them mesmerized, and enjoy the applause when they reach the end.

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