Not sure which way I should go

Fortunately, I haven’t got writers block but I’ve hit a bit of a problem with my book. I have had a couple of friends who are also writers read it. They gave me some very useful, if conflicting advice.

My book is finished, sort of. It starts fairly well, it has twists that I hope are unexpected. A plot that concludes but also a few other plot lines that will carry on in the series. However it’s definitely lacking something. The main character needs fleshing out a little bit and possibly a few more sub plots to help that. I already have a lot of characters so better not introduce anymore so I need to work with the ones I have got. There is part of the story near the end where he is in a magic school. I know there is quite a bit of scope to develop that but so far I’ve have kept it as a minor part as I don’t want the book to be unfavourable compared to Harry Potter. This will be the only time in the series that the school features.

Normally when I get stuck I just think about it for a few weeks and an answer presents itself. But this time nothing.

When writing my second book (also not finished) I was stuck and asked oldest step son for an idea. Surprisingly he gave me a very good one, although he meant it as a joke. This time I asked him, nothing.

I’m currently reading through and making editing notes. If I don’t get an idea soon I will have to bite the bullet and write more about the school. I might have to introduce a red head boy with a large family and a clever but bossy girl as his friends…..
This writing a book malarkey is a lot harder than it looks.

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9 thoughts on “Not sure which way I should go

  1. Annoying when this happens. I wish I could help but not having read your book I fear I would be more of a hindrance! When I hit these walls I deliberately start thinking about the most ridiculous and nonsensical scenarios – as far removed from the probabilities of the story as I can – and occasionally, from that, something tangible presents itself. Good luck.

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  2. I know you are like me, you want to be in complete control of the product.
    But like me, you end up asking for advice from time to time.
    The advice you get may or may not be helpful, but my guess is, the most you will get is a spark from someone’s idea, that gives you the inspiration you need to solve the problem.
    Nobody who hasn’t read the MS so far is going to be able to suggest specific improvements anyway.

    I’ve never had a structural edit, (maybe I should have, I don’t know) but that could conceivably be a way forward?
    It’s that, or more beta readers, or just waiting for a flash of inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ollie that’s good advice. However it’s not ready for an editor yet and I’m worried more readers at this stage will confuse me. I’m going to do another re-write this summer then see what state it is in then. Out of interest did you read last weeks post?

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  3. The fun part is, there are dozens of magic schools in Fantasy. Almost every story involving magic has significant magic training. It’s hard not to repeat!

    If you do need to expand on the magic school portion, my advice is to keep it grounded in the characters involved and in the unique properties of your magic. The things that REALLY stick out. We don’t need to see everything that the pupil learns, so if something seems to repeat someone else’s work, you can just not show that particular session and bury that in narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reminding me of that. I think what you say is very sensible and helpful. I have tried to avoid an info dump and tease the magic system out over time. Some of it is revealed while Tybalt is at school. I think there is scope for developing the characters a bit more while at school. As well as the main one there is another minor character who will keep appearing in the later books who I could expand on a bit more especially his friendship to Tybalt. Thanks again for the great advise.

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  4. Having not yet read your book, I can’t offer advice as to how to adjust your story, however, there is a tip I read in a craft book on writing better dialogue – basically, pick a page where the story is going “meh” and number the dialogue lines on the page. Have someone pick a random number or use a random number generator. Next, grab a book you enjoy, flip to a random page, and replace the line from your book with a line of dialogue from that page. Tweak until the line makes sense in the context of your story and work from there. It might not solve your problem, but it might help free the logjam if it’s writer’s block.

    Alternatively, you may want to check out https://feedbackforfiction.com/ which is currently in early testing. You can blame this program for why it will have taken until the end of this month to ready my book for beta readers as it helped me visualize how saggy the middle part was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks some good ideas there, I’ve now read though and marked up parts of the book I don’t like, most the book! I’m going to try re-writing this summer then I might try that link and see if gives me any further ideas.

      I often wondered how you decide a book is finished? I know you finished a few it must be very hard to stop tweaking.

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