1. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    how do you stop your story from going 'stale'?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by sophie., Feb 28, 2009.

    My idea seems to be going nowhere, and becoming dull.
    How do you revive a flagging storyline/generate new ideas to keep it going?
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sophie,

    How do you know it is becoming dull?

    I am not saying that the plot is running out of steam or the characters are falling flat. Maybe they are.

    I have also seen it where a story is going well, but the author, who has focused on it for so long gets 'bored' or uninspired with it as they move forward. This in itself could be a cause for concern, not necessarily because the story is becoming 'stale'.

    If it is being filled with clich├ęs and predictable, it may be becoming stale.
    If the story is meandering without direction, it may be becoming stale.
    If the writer is bored or burned out on the story, it may be becoming stale.

    One way to determine is to have someone, a fresh set of eyes, give it a look and opinion. A second way is for the writer to step away, work on something else and then come back to the project.

    Just a few thoughts upon reading your question/concern.

    Terry
     
  3. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I think what the thread creator means is, she is running out of ideas, the story has slowed to nothing happening, and it seems as though it is simply going to die without a creative hand to keep it going.

    In this case, I have a suggestion:

    If you really want to write this story, then I suggest leaving it for a couple days. Don't try to write. Just chill.
    Then, after that, don't immediately begin writing again, but instead, begin considering. Think about things you could add, you could do.

    Every little scene that pops into your head you should write down; if it does not relate to the story, write it, anyway and you can tweak it later if it is of sufficient caliber.

    Also, don't be afraid of adding a few silly scenes just for the fun of it. In my experience, people enjoy reading little 'skit' type parts where it just builds the character personalities or is just humorous.
     
  4. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    If your story is on a particular subject, you could try reading/learning more about that subject. I always get inspired reading about the things I write about--in fact, that's why I write about them.

    If this doesn't apply, apologies, but inspiration has to come from within. Maybe it's not so much "stale" as you just don't know where to take it. I have a storyline that I love but I need to rewrite it, and it gets so tedious sometimes trying to think of how to do it properly, that the story feels "stale" when in fact I'm just stuck and tired of going over the same ground. I still love the story, but when something gets difficult of course it will seem stale and tedious.

    Perhaps you need to just sit down and mull it over, untangle it and brainstorm some ideas. A break can help to get a fresh perspective, but if you step away from the story for TOO long, you risk never finishing it. Sometimes all one can do is just keep working at it, no matter how tedious.
     
  5. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    Thankyou for all replies so far.

    I have tried 'leaving' it; in fact, I've hardly started writing the actual story yet! - recently I've just been jotting down ideas, and reading to give me new ones :)

    What's worrying me is even I am becoming bored with my idea and all the characters seem dull or one-dimensional. :(
    I think I'll just leave it alone until I think of something to get it going again, if that makes sense...
     
  6. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    When I link or share information, I only share information that has helped me. This link might help.

    Besides that, another thing I try to do to keep things fresh is the follow. I start with a scene that causes the reader to want to know something, or makes them ask a question, and they want to know the answer to it. My goal within the next few pages is to slowly answer that question, and to bring up at least one new one. As soon as possible I give my MC(s) a goal, and a reason they really want to reach that goal. All the little things that happen seem to make it harder and harder for the MC(s) to reach his goal, but it also seems like he is making progress and getting closer to it. So while I focus on him getting closer to his goal, I also continue to bring up questions and answer those questions.

    By question I mean anything that causes the reader to ask a question. The MC gets captured, but the MC doesn't know who took him or why, so the reader asks the question, who took him and why?

    I usually am juggling several questions at once, answers some, leaving some for later, but always reminding the read they want to know the answers, and of course bringing up new questions.

    Hopefully the link gives you ideas.
     

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