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Showing posts from March, 2016

How to Avoid Mid a Story Crisis – Part 2

In part 1 we looked at three of the various ways a story can sag in the middle, what is commonly referred to as the ‘mid story crisis’, things like running out of steam, not knowing what goes in the middle section and the characters running out of things to say to move the story forward, so in this concluding part we’ll take a look at some more reasons and the ways that writers can avoid these common problems. If you find that your story struggles with what to do next, this is usually because you have run out of ideas – the kind of ideas that should push the story forward. Many stories tend to start off with plenty of momentum and fire, but then they start to trundle after ten or eleven chapters and eventually they become a chore because the zest of those first ten or eleven chapters has worn off. And the magic reason why? The writer hasn’t planned anything. They haven’t outlined chapters or thought through scene scenarios, nor do they truly know what the main character’s goal actually …

How to Avoid Mid a Story Crisis – Part 1

There are lots of reasons why writers get to a certain point in their novel and then hit a brick wall. They seem unable to proceed, as though stuck with nowhere to go, nothing to write or nothing to say. Some say this is a symptom of writer’s block, but any blockage lies with the writer, not the blank page, so more often than not, the gradual realisation that that the book is going nowhere is known as a mid-story crisis. The ‘crisis’ in question can encompass all manner of things, so we’ll take a look at the main reasons, why they happen and ways writers can recognise them and combat them. The good news that most writers have suffered the ‘mid story crisis’ at some point in their writing careers, so it’s not uncommon. Every writer starts their novel out with enthusiasm and fire, but then halfway through the process, things become sluggish, writing becomes harder and eventually the writing grinds to a halt. They struggle to understand why this happens, particularly when they have all the…

The Importance of Supporting Characters

Last week we looked at how you create a cast of supporting characters, and this week we continue the theme by looking at just how important those supporting characters are. Nothing happens in any story without the secondary characters getting involved on many different levels. They contribute more to any story than just “being in the background”. Their importance shouldn’t be ignored – they don’t just interact with the main characters or provide a foil, but instead they help advance the plot, they move the story forward, carry subplots, heighten conflict, reveal information and do much more. Supporting characters also need to be vivid – they won’t share the same amount of time in the spotlight as your protagonist and antagonist – so they need to reflect real people, they should be intriguing and interesting enough for the reader to care about them. Plot Advancement It’s surprising just how some secondary characters shoulder more story than you think. If done correctly, they help to make t…

Creating a Supporting Cast of Characters

While every good story needs memorable main characters, they are nothing without a supporting ensemble of secondary characters. That’s because it’s not just your main characters that carry the story – other characters play an important role in conveying the story, too. While secondary characters don’t drive the story in the same way that the antagonist does, they move it forward in their own ways; they shoulder the responsibility for different points of the story and they strengthen it when involved with subplots. They often have strong connections to the main character – they might be family members, friends or colleagues, or even enemies. They also have strong connections with the story arc and subplots. Any supporting cast of characters has their own little part to play in the story. In other words, they have a reason to be there. Why are they there? What will they do for the story? What is their motivation? What conflict will they cause? How will they move the story forward? How wil…