• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

how to continue delvelopeing your story when your get stuck?

pmmg

Istar
Yes....turn off your thinking brain, and just write whatever comes. Good, bad or ugly. Write it till it starts to flow again and the story is back underway...then fix in the rewrite.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
my problem with writing a story is i get stuck and not sure what else to do with the story any one got any tips ? how to work though this

Sounds like you are in the muddy 'middle.' The beginning is long behind you, but the end is nowhere in sight. The once awesome characters now seem flat, the dialogue is trite, and the descriptions utterly uninteresting. Tends to hit at around the 30,000 word mark, give or take.

First off, when you began the story, did you have an outline for the entire thing? Or, failing that, solid ideas for the beginning, middle, and end? If not, I suggest you think it through and create an outline.

Second, if you do have an outline or solid notions for the beginning, middle, and end, then your only real options at this point are to give up - or write. I used to take an old cooking timer, set it to an hour, then do nothing but write until the bell rang. Quality didn't matter, what did matter was getting the words written, making any sort of headway at all.

Spoiler: For many authors, the last few chapters are even worse than the 'muddy middle.' Many a time I told myself - 'the end is in sight! Just a few more chapters! Just another ten thousand words! Two more weeks, tops!' And then...two weeks, twelve thousand words and four chapters later...I'd be repeating those words.

Then, once you finish the rough draft, you set it aside for a few weeks - or better yet a few months - and work on other things. Then you come back to the manuscript with fresh eyes and redo the whole dang thing all over again, turning 'words' into a 'story.'
 

Penpilot

Staff
Article Team
For me, when I get stuck, I go back to the core of the characters and the story. I ask myself the following questions. What does the main character want and why? What's stopping the main character from getting what they want? And overall, what am I trying to explore with this story? What are its themes?

When I have those answers front and centre, I then take a look at where I am in the story. Is my character chasing after what they want? If not, why? If they are chasing after what they want, what's stopping them from proceeding forward? If there's nothing stopping them, and it's not supposed to be the end of the story, find a obstacle to put in their way and force them to find a way to overcome said obstacle. But not only have them overcome the obstacle, have them learn something from the experience that they can use later. And finally, just overall are the scenes I'm creating exploring the themes?

Now, if getting stuck happens all the time, I'd suggest reading up on story structure. It can help you map out your story in broad strokes, and if you want, it can help you outline things in fine detail. It's what I do, and since I started doing it, I've finished every story I ever started. It's never about finishing anymore, it's about making it as good as it can be now.
 
I found plotting helps. Nothing major, just thinking of what kind of things need to happen to end the story. Knowing what to write makes the writing part a lot easier (for me).

You could also just try throwing in some random problem. Have ninja's show up. It's a common NaNoWriMo solution. Just have something go wrong for your characters and have them either fix it or have it make stuff get even worse.
 
I personally find that writing dialogue gets my wheels turning, so I'll play around with random conversations with my characters, just having fun with it. There are times to force it, and there are times to goof off and see what happens.
 

K.S. Crooks

Maester
Usually I know where I want the characters to go and what I want to happen for a major plot occurrence, the problem comes with not knowing how to get them there. When this happens I jump ahead and write the part I know and let my subconscious work on the other section. When what to write comes to me I fill in the gap.
 

Mad Swede

Maester
I think this depends on how you write. I'm severely dyslexic so I don't do re-writes. But then again, I don't reach for the keyboard until I've thought the story through. Some would call this outlining, which in some ways it is. But which ever way you look at it, the first draft I write is also the final draft. With that written, I always start by writing the first scene, the opening of the story. Sometimes I even write the final scene, although experience has taught me that the end of the story can change as the story gets written. Then I write the key scenes, usually in something approachning the order they will be in in the story. And then I go back and add in all the other details, like scenery, sounds, smells etc. And sometimes I add other little vignettes, which occaisionally take on a life of their own and change the story.

No matter how you write, I think that the key is to have some form of structure to your writing and some idea of where the story is to go.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
What do you mean by stuck? Are you unable to write at all? No words whatsover? Do you become hypercritical of what you've written so far and so abandon the project in despair? Has something happened in your life to pull the rug out from under you (illness, loss, a move)? Have sort of out-run your own story and are toward the end but can't see how to bring it to a conclusion? Or, related, are you stuck on a specific plot point and can't find your way forward?

There are many, many kinds of being stuck.

Also relevant is *when* are you stuck? After the first chapter or two? Or forty thousand words in? Or do you get stuck while still just planning and you crash and burn almost as soon as you start actual writing?

FTR and FWIW, I've been all of the above. I only know of one way to fix all of them, but I won't vouch that it works for anyone but me. People can offer advice, and it's fine to ask for it, but solutions only come from the author.
 
Definitely agree with plotting as mentioned above. Not just story plots but character plotting as well. Draw a bubble chart for your characters going over their personality traits, likes, dislikes, strengths, and weakness. Image them in different situations (maybe some completely unrelated to your story) and how they would react.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
Without any other information from the OP, I'd say if you're stuck then you should try going back to the rulebook. Call to Action, to the Fun and Games, to the Midpoint, and so on. You can google 3-act structure, switch to image search, just look at the diagrams, then search up any terms you don't know.

I'm not going to say that you need to stick to a formula. But getting familiar with it can definitely help you with plotting, especially in the middle.
 
Top