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Author: Subject: Plot Lags
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smiley07.gif posted on 7-7-2011 at 03:13 PM
Plot Lags

Hey! I figured this was as could a place as any to come for some support on this.

Lately, in hitting the 13,000 word mark, I've been feeling that my plot is just dragging. It's becoming harder and harder to move things forward with the circulatory thoughts of the characters and the repetitive arguments. And even once I break through those, I feel like I'm always building bridges to the next big plot point, without ever really getting there.

Does anyone else ever feel like this? What do you do when something like this occurs?

Hope everyone's novels are going swimmingly! :)
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[*] posted on 7-7-2011 at 04:01 PM

This does happen to me sometimes. And for me, at least, this is the time that I need to shake things up a bit.

If you're hating where you are, you could always skip ahead in the novel. Write a scene that you've been looking forward to to reenergize yourself. Sometimes I like to introduce a brand new character who can cause drama. Or anything brand new and unplanned- you could have it start hailing at an inconvenient time. Or have one character do something impulsive and rash that gets him into trouble. Or maybe- you said the characters are going in circles. Why not have one of them acknowledge that and do something about it? This something could be a really stupid something, but that might be more interesting anyway.

I don't know. For me, I feel like one way to gain more energy is to be spontaneous. It doesn't work for everyone, I know, and it might not for you. You could always give yourself a day or two off, work on something else, maybe, and come back to this with hopefully more energy.

I hope this helps, and that things get better for you! :) Good luck!

"Art makes order out of the chaos of the real world."
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[*] posted on 7-7-2011 at 09:36 PM

If you find your characters (and thus storyline) getting stuck in a loop, then you're missing something to break it. So, what could do that? A new character, an unexpected event?

When I write, I know where I'm starting and have at least a vague idea of where I'm going, but I try not to nail down the details too firmly right away. Instead, I let it evolve and develop organically.

For instance, tonight I had two characters meet that I hadn't previously shown interacting with each other. I really wasn't sure how they would deal with one another until I just let them start talking and played their personalities off of each other. I had a King and a Queen (from different realms), and while I had thus far portrayed the King as a rather honorable man, what came out of him in this scene was not just staunch old-fashionedness but some outright sexism. It was an aspect of his character I hadn't really considered before but it made sense--a man so obsessed with the glorious past of his realm could logically cling to other old ways. None of it was meant to portray him as a particularly bad guy, just a flawed person with a particular point-of-view.

So, going from that, you could also consider what characters you've not had encounter one another yet, and what events haven't filtered through to the rest of your cast. Something just has to happen to shake it up so you get out of this rut!
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