I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve been there. A LOT. But there’s always that chapter/scene where the writing stops. It’s like, “What am I supposed to be doing now? What’s supposed to be happening?” Even with a detailed plot structure with clear instructions of what is and is not supposed to be happening, it did it again.
Then my son asked a question.
The other day I was asking for help in coming up with a title for my current WIP, and my son asked, “What is the MC’s goal?”
And he had me.
Such a simple question. THE question, and I knew it was a problem since day one. I had the goal, but I didn’t. Not really. Whenever I tried to write an elevator pitch for the blurb, it just crumbled into obscurity.
And that’s when I realized. I have been over complicating things.
This whole time I kept thinking I needed more plot, more complexity. Alas, I needed more simplicity. I kept concentrating on the villain, kept claiming that defeating him was the goal. It so wasn’t.
The goal was XXX. The villain just gets in the way. Like my mother said, “KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.” And she was right.
Start with the simple and embellish later if you need to. Not sure I’ll ever be good at that, but at least now I know what the real goal is and that the villain has very little to do with it.
Oh yeah, the writing. See, without the correct goal, I was just spinning my wheels, my characters were passing time until the next big thing happened. NOW, my characters have a desire, a purpose, and my writing will go back to taking care of itself. Just to be clear, I did know their goal is what drove the story before this revelation. Whenever I would get stuck, I would think, “What does my character want? What would they do?” But this time, I have a clearer picture, a big picture, the right picture. Oh, and I also have an elevator pitch 🙂 Hoo yeah!
So, the next time you get stuck, ask yourself, “What would my character(s) do? What do they want?” They have to keep trying for their goal. If that doesn’t work as well as it should, reanalyze your main goal. Is it really defeating the villain, or does the villain just get in the way. Good luck with your writing!