• Jessica Sherry

Give Your Character an Almost

The writing life is filled with almosts, at least for me. Almost got a publisher. Almost got an agent. Repeat. And again. And again. Almost went crazy and took a flame-thrower to my computer Ellen Ripley style… You know, almosts.

What about your characters’ almosts? An almost could launch your character into conflict and add meat to the bones of your story *yummy*.


  • Almost got the job, promotion, corner office, employee of the month

  • Almost got divorced, separated, married, engaged (nod to Elle Woods in Legally Blond)

  • Almost made it to work, court, the date, the class, the ukulele concert on time

  • Almost got away with…lying, napping, cheating, stealing, murdering, skipping the boring meeting

  • Almost survived the… apocalypse, vampire invasion, designer virus, dinner at Mom’s, disco party, horrible client, trip to Walmart (I rarely get out of there unscathed)

  • Almost… came clean, had the talk, said exactly what’s on her mind, called the boss an asshole, confessed to spiking her BFFs yogurts with arsenic

  • Almost… maimed, slapped, tickled, hugged, kissed, jumped into his arms sending them both off the edge of a cliff

Giving your guy, gal, robot, whatever an almost might raise the stakes and jumpstart the plot. Just don’t let your almost be… I almost wrote that book.

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