Advice Needed: My Peculiar Struggle With Fiction Writing Hello all! I am new to the forum as of about 3 minutes prior to typing these characters. I’ve joined because I’m looking for a bit of guidance in how to deal with one of the major struggles I have with fiction writing. I am hoping that my problem is more common than I suspect so that people can share their own experiences with overcoming it, but the more I think about it, the more I feel as if it simply defies all common sense. What I am Good At: Character and World Building By far, my greatest creative strength is character and world building. I need to feel as if the character has all the depth of a real person I might have a conversation with whether or not I actually reveal even a 10th of what I’ve mapped out in any of my drafts. I need to understand their every motivation be it conscious or unconscious so that the person seems genuine when it is time to use them. Fortunately, I can say that this process is extremely exciting for me and in no way seems a burden. I am a former psychology major, so I quite enjoy analyzing my characters in a variety of ways throughout the creation process. Because I am essentially the god of the worlds I create, it is very important me to understand the WHY of everything that is moving through the environment. So far as my characters are concerned, I am physics, religion, and the meaning of life itself even though they have no idea I exist. I tend to write modern fantasy or horror, so world building is usually a very intense process. Before introducing any supernatural elements into my writing, I need to understand in detail why exactly these powers work in my world beyond simply that “They happen because this person is special.” With that in mind, I don’t see any of it as a burden because it is extremely rewarding and enjoyable. Like character building, the details come to me naturally and continue to expand once I begin outlining. I have a talent for inventing belief systems and religions for my characters, creation myths, and encyclopedia style histories for their communities, deities, and even species when it is applicable. What I Need Help With: Long Term Story Arcs, and Putting Characters into Action Sooooo… there I am sitting there with a laptop with page after page of notes, and an about sixty or so hand written pages and I am extremely excited to put everything into action. Sometimes, if you could say every story was an alphabet, I’ll come up with letters F H O L W and Z… and then I trip manage a spectacular face-plant into a metaphorical cinder block. Try as I might, I can’t seem to set everything into motion. I can tell you where they are and what they are doing a various points within the story, but when it comes to actually connecting the dots and linking everything together in a tangible concrete way. Sure, if asked I can speak in general terms about how the story progresses but I feel completely crippled when it comes to portraying the events that make them happen. My problem is not a matter of mechanics or technique, except that I seem to lack one when it comes to turning the ignition key. I can do a fine job of what I call “snap shots” which is describing approximately up to five minutes of a character’s life in great detail while capturing their passions. I just can’t sustain them, or assemble momentary glimpses into a meaningful whole. Likewise, if someone were to say “Write about how Georgia stalks her next victim in a coffee shop and begins to recognize the first pangs of remorse for her actions.” I can do it, and there’s a good chance that what I write on demand will be quite a bit longer than one of my “snap shots.” The block doesn’t happen then. I just… can’t seem to give myself the necessary commands to make it happen. Actually, sometimes I CAN give myself a direct command with a very clear objective such as the one above, but I just sit there looking at an empty page of Microsoft word, and words refuse to come. If I try to power through it, the resulting quality is complete rubbish compared to my little snap shots, or to that of something I wrote when someone who is not me made a similar request. Anyway, I think this post is long enough for my first within the forum. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Although I will certainly listen to advice that might be specific to short stories, my goal is that of writing full length novels due to the complexity of the characters and worlds I tend to favor. Thanks!