In compelling drama, bad things happen to the characters; but ending scene after scene on a dark note can exhaust readers. Go back through your manuscript and make sure the negative doesn’t overshadow the positive. Strive for a healthy balanced mixture of both to keep your readers turning the pages.
Category Archives: Practical Prompts
Before you start writing your next scene, review what each character, not just the POV character, was doing before that scene started. Even if you don’t write those details down, knowing where each character starts off will inform your writing.
Think about the last book you set down before you reached the end. Perhaps the faults that bother you the most are the ones that hit too close to home. With that in mind, revisit that book and see if you can find where you lost interest. Then compare it to your own manuscript to see if you are having similar issues.
Before you sit down to write your scene, list the characters in the scene and write out their individual goals. Even if you never state those motivations in the prose, knowing them will help you write more authentic character interactions and add complexity and richness to your story.
Make the most of the time you have to write by using your pre-writing downtime wisely. Are there character backstories that need fleshing out? Plot points that aren’t fully formed in your mind? In between your writing sessions, make a list of the details in your story that need attention. Then, when you find yourself commuting, walking the dog or folding laundry, work through the list in your head. By the time you’re ready to sit down to write, you’ll have the details fresh in your mind to get them onto the page.