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What to do When you Get Stuck in Writing your Story.

When you begin your writing process, it might be fun and rosy at the beginning. You create your characters, and you are fascinated by their attributes and personalities. You give them beautiful descriptions, as well as the world they live in. Then, they get into confrontations, and it’s so much fun to watch them try to overcome the obstacles you place in front of them. Then suddenly, you start noticing inconsistencies in your stories, or your main character runs out of moves, and you don’t know where to go from there. You are stuck, and your story seems to stall. What do you do? Here are five steps to get your pen rolling again and finally finish that killer novel.

1. Take a Moment

You should begin with a break. Nothing works wonders like a good old break from your work to gain some perspective. You can try rewriting your favorite story from an author you greatly admire and take notes on scenes, characters, language, point of view, and other elements in the story that appeals to you. These could be things you can emulate and incorporate into your own story when you get back to work.

2. Rekindle your Passion

Next, when you return to your work-in-progress, you may need to maintain optimism and enthusiasm. You need to rekindle the passion you once had for your story and revisit the compelling reasons you started your writing project. Why did you begin this journey in the first place? What was it about the main characters that intrigued you? Why were their motivations and conflicts fascinating? Get a notebook and jot down these answers, and keep returning to them when your zeal begins to dwindle.

3. Find out The Problem

When you have gained a new perspective and have reignited your passion for your project, you can now dive back into work. Find out what exactly is bogging your writing down. It could be that you don’t know your characters well or the premise of your story isn’t strong enough, or your conflict isn’t conflicting enough. Investigate these aspects of your story to know how best to fix them. Try to know your characters well enough. Invent every facet of who they are until there is nothing hidden from you about them. Increase the conflict, make the obstacles highly insurmountable, spice things up for your hero.

4. Reread your Manuscript

Read your manuscript from the beginning to the end and look out for potential areas you need to explore further. It could be a dialogue that holds a lot of potential and could be referred to later to give a wonderful spin on your story. There could be something a character did that is surprising which you can explore further. There will be areas that are enchanting and really work for your story. Look into those good passages and use them to strengthen the weak ones. Each time you read your manuscript, you will notice something new, so note them, and work on them if you have to, or explore them as well as you can.

5. Turn up the Heat

Your work is more intriguing the more trouble you create in it. Take Raymond Chandler’s advice and introduce a man with a gun. Let something drastic happen. It could be that sudden call in the middle of the night that drops a bombshell. It could be the assassination of a very dear character or introducing a major character with a lot of attitude and wit. What is the worst thing that can happen to your protagonist? Make it happen and see how far it goes. Let his greatest fears become a reality. Let him lose his job, return home and find his son doing drugs and his wife with another man, and his teenage daughter gets pregnant. Turn up the heat in your story.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Frank Stephen