Monday, March 16, 2015

Advice For Writers #28: Back To The Basics

Going back to the basics. Sometimes you get stuck. Maybe it's in your sixth draft or maybe your first. It can happen at any stage of your writing. And a lot of the time (in my experience) it's because you're missing something. Some piece of plot, some character, just a simple scene or two, but SOMETHING. That's when you go back to the basics.

What I mean is, go back to outlining, go back to developing your characters and world. Figure out what's missing: Is your plot too thin? Your characters need more development? Do you not spend enough time on developing your world? Go through everything in your mind to try and figure out what might need to change to make it better. If you're stuck, chances are it's for a reason, subconsciously you know there's something - big or small - that needs to change.

Make a random list of all the possibilities, everything that could happen to fix your book. Does your plot need to be thickened? What can be added to bring the plot to the forefront of your novel? Do you need to make you characters more three dimensional? How can you do that? Do you need to give them more of a backstory, more inner monologue, more interactions with fuzzy creatures?

Back to your basics, re-outline and figure out what plot points you missed, what character should play a bigger part. Sometimes it will be something small, you'll turn a hateful character into a love interest and suddenly your novel is ten times as interesting, and sometimes you'll realize the whole ending needs to be rewritten. Either way, you need to go back to the basics sometimes to figure out how to take your story to the next level.

Write on, write on.


  1. Great post. I am working on a book right now, but I am trying to get the outline fleshed out as much as possible.

    1. Yeah, outlining is very important, some people prefer flying by the seat of their pants but the one time I did that I got so lost in my novel! A well fleshed out outline can literally be a life saver(so you don't wind up killing off that random character you introduced on a whim).

      Happy outlining and good luck! =)


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