Why do we write?
To be impactful
To change an opinion
To lend new perspective
To gain insight
To understand, share, or collect information
Are you struggling with your story?
Share the details of your protagonist with readers. Your main character needs to think strategically. Your readers want to know what your protagonist expects. If your protagonist can’t share details up front, use secondary characters to move the story along. Plan them out IN DETAIL before your first draft. Identify physical characteristics, quirky habits, accents, education, emotional and spiritual sides, backstory, etc. before you plot. Here’s a great place to check out ideas for character profiling [insert link here].
Readers can’t always draw conclusions on their own – writers need to provide specific conclusions for actions.
If a reader infers something and they’re way off base, they’re not going to keep reading. Expectations should be set from the start. We need to know what we’re getting into.
We want to be surprised, but not deluded.
Take us into fantasy, but bring us back to reality – otherwise we won’t buy it (literally and figuratively).
Plot problem? Do you have a specific consequence that the reader is aware of? There has to be a major emotional consequence to result from a decision point. This needs to grow as you develop the story. Is there a timeline? What is at stake for the main character? The plot problem needs to force your protagonist to deal with an issue from beginning to end. How do they face the problem and challenge it? They have to be forced into a consequence of sorts.