Stakes are the reason people keep reading/watching/listening to a story

—Matthew Dicks, author of Storyworthy.

Raise the stakes in your story. Then raise them again. Then raise them again. To the point where they seem insurmountable.

There’s a bomb on a bus, oh no!

The bomb detonates if the bus goes under 50mph, oh no oh no!

The bus has to go through a city, oh no oh no oh no!