This week Quan Williams, author of GodMode, is celebrating the release of his new book with a Blog Tour, organised by Dragon Knight Chronicles.
Writing Room 101 will be providing three stops along the tour. Today Quan has a guest post for us. On Wednesday I will be providing a review of the book and on Saturday, Quan joins us for an exclusive interview.
So, without further ado, I’ll hand you over to the man himself.
The Osh Moment
By Quan Williams
Here’s a little tidbit for all of you fledgeling writers out there. This is something that I feel is essential to any good story, and something that you must be able to master for your stories to reach their full potential. I personally use it quite a bit.
I call it “The OSH moment.”
What is the OSH moment, you may ask?
The OSH moment is, simply put, the moment where the feces hits the fan. This is the one moment where everything is either going wrong or is about to go wrong, and your protagonist is wondering “what the hell am I going to do now?”
If you look at basically any movie – let’s say a love story – you’ll see this principle in action. You have your boy meets girl moment, but there’s always some twist to the meeting, some secret or tidbit of information that the protagonist has that his or her love interest isn’t privy to. The two have their ups and downs throughout the movie, but everything seems to be progressing along. Then that little tidbit becomes public knowledge, and the truth comes out, and this moment puts the whole relationship in jeopardy. That is the OSH moment, the crossroads where things can go either way.
And it doesn’t just work in romance stories. You have it in your spy novels where the spy’s cover is blown, or in action movies where the hero meets the foe he can’t beat. All of those old “wanna get away?” airline commercials are based on the OSH moment.
You especially get this moment in real life. For instance, I was working at the plant a while back, and the machine I was working on was acting snarky. The maintenance guy comes around to try to fix the durned thing, but can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with it. So he goes out to get some more tools. I’m standing there waiting for him, and I don’t like standing around when I’m getting paid to work. So I pick up one of the components he was looking at, thinking “Well, maybe he missed something.” Yeah, like I’m going to find something a trained mechanic missed. Complete brainfart on my part, but I digress. Almost as soon as I pick the thing up, little bitty parts of the component fall out, bounce off of the machine, and roll over the floor. And when maintenance guy comes back, I just knew he was going to be livid that somebody messed with the part while he was gone.
This is the OSH moment; the moment where you’re most likely to yell
Get it now?
As a writer, you want to have as many of these in your story as possible, especially at the end of chapters or acts or commercial breaks. It’s a crucial element to help ramp up the tension in your story. And you want to have at least one big OSH moment towards the end. Give it a try, and I guarantee your stories will be that much more fun to read.
By the way, there’s a song you should be listening to that illustrates my point perfectly. Check out “Oh Sh*t,” by the Pharcyde. It encompasses everything I just mentioned, and it’s even named after my new term. Check it out.
Elijah wakes up in a cage, and can barely remember anything about himself or his situation. He fights his way alone to escape a building full of bizarre and deadly monsters, while learning disturbing truths about himself. Once he finds the way out, he has to pass it up and keep fighting to rescue hiw wife and child from his nemesis.
Quan Williams has previously published three other books and various short stories, as well as spending two years as a journalist for The Michigan Daily Newspaper. He studied creative writing under the tutelage of Jonis Agee, author of “Strange Angels” and “South of Resurrection.”
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