E-Book Review Volume 1 HTML version

But I know that danger lies ahead. With every word I write I am locking myself down as to the
directions I can take. I also know that the original enthusiasm and inspiration can disappear quite
So at some point (perhaps 5,000 words) I stop.
Now I do the drudge work. The character sketches, the plot development, the relationship arcs.
How does that work?
What is required is a dissection of what you’ve got so far.
Write a synopsis of your idea. It should be no more than 200 words at this stage.
List each character. Give them a brief physical description together with what type of person they
are. Cross-reference them, noting their relationship with each other, even if it means saying
something like ‘Sally doesn’t know Bob.’
Note the situation your characters are in. Where they live, what they do, how they think.
Return to your synopsis. Is there enough story there to fill your story length (short story/novel). If
not, what believable complications can you add to flesh it out? Add this to your synopsis. Does
your denouement make sense? All your story and characters arcs must conclude here, so don’t
leave any loose ends. Under no circumstances can you write, ‘George awoke and realised it had
all been a dream’, unless you have a very valid reason for doing so. That does not include being
unable to find your conclusion. Your options are to continue writing till the conclusion presents
itself, or to go back in your narrative to the point where you got locked in to the story you
eventually wrote, and change it. Characters have a habit of taking on their own life and often the
most densely plotted narrative can be thrown off course by a line a character utters or an action he
takes. You, as the writer may feel that you are in control, but I have my doubts. When this
happens, just keep writing, let the buggers sort it out for themselves.
You’ll find this at times, that it’s not actually you doing the writing, that the characters take over.
You don’t need to fight this, it’s a good thing and will lead to some of your best writing. I’ve seen
me return to stuff I’ve written years ago and recognise it, but not the fact that I wrote it. This is the
subconscious taking over and allowing you to write on autopilot.
Some people call this being taken over by the muse.
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