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World Wide Web = system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet

Isn’t it neat when those interlinked documents lead you somewhere interesting, and not only that help you shave untold hours off a potentially grueling task?

I ended up at an informative blog the other day thanks to a few clicks. (See Mike Duran’s blog post titled One Reason Your Blog Sucks, Kristin Lamb’s comment.)

After hopping over to Kristen’s website, I clicked on her blog and found a wealth of valuable information for new writers. I owe her a kudos because her knowledge sharing allowed me to create a strong conflict-driven outline for my WIP. But more on that in a later blog post.

Right now I want to share how she helped me gain confidence in my seed idea by introducing me to James Scott Bell’s LOCK system.

I took notes while I was reading her blog post. Here they are (so I remember them):

Lock System


Lead: Do you have a sympathetic and compelling protagonist who is not too perfect or too flawed?

Objective: Does your protagonist have one big active goal? (Running away from something or avoiding something is a passive goal, which is not good material for novels, even literary ones.)

Conflict: Do you crush your protagonist’s hope of ever achieving their goal?

Knockout: Does your protagonist face down the antagonist?

What about my protagonist?

Is she likeable? Does she have both strengths and flaws? I think so. Check.

Does she have an active goal? Hmm. I hadn’t defined this one, so I had to think. What is my protagonist’s main goal going to be in the story? Answer: She wants to start a family. Check.

Do I crush my protagonist’s hopes? Not really. This question pertains to the story’s conflict, which I’ve already mentioned several times is my biggest weakness. I had to sit down and think. Here’s what I came up with:

My protagonist wants to start a family, but

  1. she’s turning thirty,
  2. she’s recently lost her job and has not been able to find new employment,
  3. she and her husband are making ends meet by dipping into their savings and acquiring new debt, and
  4. her husband is working copious amounts of overtime to make up for the lack.

Enter old boyfriend. Begin drama. Check.

And finally, does my protagonist face down the antagonist?

Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. (Cute huh? I suppose that means I have to start it and finish it…)

Next post: More kudos to Kristen Lamb’s Writer Warriors blog.

p.s. I’m also taking her advice and adding a lot more tags to each blog post. See below.