Writing a Novel: What To Do When You Get Stuck (You Will)

Writing a Novel: What To Do When You Get Stuck (You Will)

 

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.

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

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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.

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Writing Success Secrets: How To Conquer Self Doubt, And Achieve Your Writing Goals, Starting Today

Writing Success Secrets: How To Conquer Self Doubt, And Achieve Your Writing Goals, Starting Today

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Genre: Writing

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.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.