Writing a novel is a journey, and it’s never a trouble-free one. Indeed, it can seem as if you’re plunging from one disaster into the next. You will get stuck. Usually, you’ll hit page 100 or Chapter Three, and the novel’s problems will seem insurmountable. When you get past Chapter Three, you’ll get stuck again, several more times.
When you’re writing a novel, expect to get stuck one or more times
If you expect to get stuck, you’ll succeed in completing your novel. In this article, we’ll look at what you can do to leap over the wall, and rebuild your inspiration. The tips I’m giving you have helped me to complete my own novels and sell them. They work.
Here they are.
1. Give Every Major Character a Secret
Giving every character a secret helps to drive your book forward. The secret can be major (the innocent-seeming heroine is wanted by Interpol) to minor (the heroine is addicted to shopping for expensive shoes).
So when you get stuck, give a character a secret. You’ll need to do some rewriting. However, do not rewrite immediately, make some notes, and leave rewriting until you’ve completed the book.
2. Introduce a New Character
Just create a new character. This may be enough to get you past your block, and moving forward again.
3. Kill a Character
By the time you’ve reached page 100, your characters should be alive to you. If they aren’t, killing off a character may help.
4. Rewrite, in a Different Narrative Mode
Rewriting in a different narrative mode will often get you unstuck. If you’re writing in first person, rewrite a couple of chapters in third person — or write the next chapter in third person.
If you’re a new writer, writing in first person is instinctive. The danger however is that you’ll identify too closely with the “I” character. You’ll make life too easy for your character, and that’s disastrous. Change viewpoint, and make your character suffer.
Changing to another viewpoint will also help you increase suspense.
If you expect to get stuck when you’re writing a novel, you can write your way through the challenges. The above tips will help.
I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.More info →
Today, the opportunities for writers have never been greater. Back in the day a writer who was making six-figures a year seemed a creature of myth. These days, highly successful writers are making six figures a month.More info →
Resources to build your writing career
Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.
Latest posts by Angela Booth (see all)
- Writing Fiction: Stop “Writing”, Create Experiences - October 9, 2018
- Writing Fiction: How Much Dialogue? - September 28, 2018
- Writing Fiction: 3 Easy Tips For Subplots - September 9, 2018