Wednesday, 10 February 2010

I'm A Bit Stuck

I’ve reached the 75,000 word stage and now I’ve run out of plot. I know where I want to get to but I’m not too sure how to get there.

As I’ve already mentioned, I started this novel during NaNoWriMo and have tried to carry with it since, albeit much slower.

Because I had a specific word count in November to get through each day, I decided I would write what flowed easily so I jumped from one event to another depending on how the mood took me.

The result is that I have a lot of text but also quite a few gaps and I’m not sure how to fill in those gaps.

I’ve taken a methodical approach and printed off all I have, read through it and made a list of the missing bits. Unfortunately quite a few of the missing bits read “What happens next?” which isn’t particularly helpful.

I could do with sitting down for a few days, immersing myself back in the book, and do nothing but concentrate on sorting these problems out, but unfortunately at the moment life keeps getting in the way and I have to grab my writing time in fits and starts.

Does anyone have any helpful hints on how I can start to kick start some plot solution ideas in the limited time I have available to me?

Any help would be much appreciated!


  1. It might be good to concentrate your mind by not looking at the manuscript, but sitting away from it with a blank piece of paper and writing a brief outline of the story you want to tell - its beginning, middle and conclusion. Its main characters, and its conflict. Maybe now is the time you linger with the characters - nanowrimo is great for quickly whacking down an idea, but it doesn't give much time to linger, and I find I only ever know what my characters want to say by giving them that space at some point to tell me. I hope that is helpful - I think one of the most useful things I have learnt is to try and remember there is no rush to finish.

  2. Like you I began a novel in NaNoWriMo last year. I'm only at about 45,000 words, but need to chop and change lots. It's one of the things I plan to blog about when I get organised. I know exactly what you mean about writing in fits and starts. I keep thinking of short story ideas and breaking off from the novel to write the stories up while they're in my head.

    Jayne's advice above is great for me too - thanks.

  3. Hi Jayne

    Thanks for your comments. You’re dead right in that there’s no rush to finish. I suppose I’ve become a bit obsessed with notching up that word count. Now is definitely the time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I know my two main characters really well so they’re not really a problem but I could do with sketching out some of the other characters a bit better.

    Also, I’m writing a novel which is set both in the present day and during WWII and is about a girl’s quest to find out her family history, so there is a bit of a mystery involved. I’ve written large sections of both parts of the novel and now I need to work out how to slot them in together. For someone who struggles a bit with plotting I’ve certainly set myself a challenge. But then I guess that’s half the fun isn’t it? Thanks for your continued support. Linda

  4. Hi Joanne

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I’m still pretty new to this blogging lark and it gives me a real buzz to see other people’s comments.

    I know what you mean about the short stories too, the only difference is most of mine only get half written before I run out of time and have to start something new. Then by the time I get back to them I’m not always motivated to finish them. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to actually complete things I start and remain focussed. Hence my frustration with the novel. Still as long as I keep chipping away I’ll get there in the end.

    Good luck with your own novel, and do get a blog going, its great fun.