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  1. Antaus

    Antaus Active Member

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    Writing Dead Zone

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Antaus, Apr 10, 2018.

    I'm sure this has happened to countless writers, so I'm really just looking for some advice. I'm writing a story and I was going along pretty well, then thud. My plot reached a point where I'm sitting here wondering... uh... what now? My trio of MCs have gotten away from a dangerous situation for the time being... aaaaaaaand nothing. I know where the story is going eventually, they just haven't gotten to that point yet and I've got a blank spot I'm not sure how to fill.
     
  2. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    I try to work things like this backwards. If you know where you need to eventually get to, what has to happen in order for you to get there? Go broad (for the MC to defeat the evil king, she has to get a sword and actually reach the castle), then narrow it down to simple beats and events (to get a sword she has to find the lady of the lake, to find the lady of the lake she needs to talk to a wizard; to reach the castle she needs a horse, to get a horse she needs some money, to get some money she needs to steal some, etc.).

    I'm also a big advocate of Skipping The Boring Shit. I used to have this need to write every detail, every moment, but honestly -- if nothing interesting it going to happen, just skip to the next interesting thing if it doesn't need to be built up.
     
  3. awkwarddragon

    awkwarddragon Member

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    Have you jotted down an outline? I find that writers who don't have an outline of some sort often find themselves in your position. I would suggest cooking up a momentary outline - you'd be surprised how quick the creative juices flow.
     
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  4. Antaus

    Antaus Active Member

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    I actually got to the point of doing that myself, skip the dull shit.

    I do, to a degree. Most of the time I figure out the start, the finish, and certain high points in the plot that need to happen. Then I just write to see what happens. I'm in the process of trying to get the story in print right now. This is my first draft and will likely be heavily edited before posted anywhere.
     
  5. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    That's the second act wall - when most people get ideas for a novel, they have the initial concepts and they have an ending and a couple of scenes that will be awesome... But unfortunately, you can't just have a beginning and an ending.

    Think about character arc progression - ideally you want something to have changed by the end of the novel, think about how you can translate that through different scenes.

    For example, the main plot involves my MC on a path of vengeance, and to root out the villain, a disgraced gebetal. She requires the help of one of his once isn't loyal men who has now deserted him. That's the premise, and I knew the ebding; two grudging allies who when their situation is most dire, have come to trust each other.

    So how to arrive there? Well, I know I would need to start wby showing their relationship as very fractious as they let their bigoted opinions control them. I knew I would need some gentler scenes in which they would've able to empathise with one anothe. And I would need to place them in situations where their companionship is most strained. For example, I decided to have my MC's companion seriously injured in the midpoint of the book, and it it's only in his bsencr that she begins to realise how much she relies on him, as much as she would hate to admit it.

    I suppose you could say this is a major subplot rather than main plot, but I think you would treat this in a similar manner. You need to colour in the gaps in a way that shows a natural progression of events, rather than stalling out for those momentous scenes, as it is likely the reader won't have waited around for them.
     
  6. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    I say go back to your outline and work on that. I had this problem at some point as well, and that’s what I did. Sometimes it helps to see the entire thing as a whole on those few pages that the outline covers.
     
  7. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    Agree with the advice to work backward and figure out what needs to happen to get you to your next plot point.

    Additionally, I use these prompts when I'm trying to come up with ideas for new conflicts to move me forward:
    -"And then, it got worse."
    -What might be the most shocking or surprising outcome of the last scene you wrote? Go back and change how it resolves.
    -Have something you thought was resolved from earlier in the story come back to bite the characters in the ass.
    -Introduce a new character. (Exercise with EXTREME CAUTION. Newbie has to serve the plot and fit the theme and mood of the book. But sometimes it happens to be just what you need.)
     
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  8. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    I had this problem. I got stuck for a few months bc my MC had just gotten through some stuff and I didn't know what to do with her next. I just pushed on- wrote some (probably) pretty boring scenes just to keep going- then sat down and really examined my story. I realized I had a bunch of loose ends that I needed to address- some sub-plots that needed to be worked through to completion- so i brainstormed how to work those in as I went from Point A- where I was- to Point B- the climactic end scene that I knew I was working towards. And that helped- working in those little sub-plots, i was able to jot down the precise sequence of scenes between Point A and Point B. (Now I just have to write them....)
     
  9. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc New Member

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    You should try to see how close your characters are at this point from the next high point of the plot, and how much action you want to include between these high points. You said that the characters had gotten away from a dangerous situation for the time being. Was the dangerous situation one of the high points of the plot?
     

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