Basic guidelines for your story’s rising action

When developing the rising action section of your story, there a few simple guidelines to follow. Ensuring these guidelines aren’t violated will help keep the story moving forward and increase the dramatic tension:
• Our hero never can give up – If he stops trying to overcome the central problem, the story would end. There may be moments where he doubts his abilities or the solution, but he cannot stop his counterthrusts against the antagonist until overcoming the central problem.
• The plot must thicken – With each level of rising action (or each effort to overcome the antagonist) ultimately solving the problem should become more difficult. This is known as a “thickening” of the plot. If each level or effort becomes less complicated, then the reader will know the story’s outcome and become less invested in the main character. Facing the biggest, most powerful monster first then a less powerful dog-sized monster and finally a virtually powerless bug-sized creature is anti-climatic.
• Good plotting involves “planting” – As developing the rising action, the author should reveal certain facts that later allow for plot twists. If this isn’t done, then the twist probably will appear artificial or forced. The trick to planting is ensuring that the upcoming twist doesn’t become so obvious that the reader knows it’s coming. It wouldn’t be a twist then.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.