Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I'm often asked by writers -

"What do I do if I'm stuck?" or "What's wrong when I get stuck?"

My answer is usually there's something wrong either with the characters (wrong ones or the right ones were forced to do the wrong thing etc.) or the plot went awry or there's an opportunity (scene, elaboration etc.) that's missing.

The first one is what just happened to me with the new horror / suspense novel I'm working on - Windigo. Now, see, with my horror novel Apparitions (ArcheBooks, May 2007) I started with a very strong set of characters, a hint of a plot and let plot develope from there. With Windigo it's the opposite. I started with a strong plot and a vague idea of the characters. It also didn't help that I changed the slant of the plot several times without thinking to re-cast.

So I sat...and sat...and pondered why it was none of my scenes were fitting. I couldn't jump start the story. It was all flat. Bleah.

Then I remembered my own advice and went through the plot. Nothing wrong there. Then the characters...and the AH HA! moment hit. A few of my characters were definately off and, as they stood, had no real role in the story. I was trying to make them fit and that just wasn't working.

I've since re-casted oh...4 of them, tweaked their bios and gave them new jobs. Now the subplots are coming along nicely and the plot is falling into place.

So next time you're stuck try seeing where things got off track and even if it takes some time and some changing - fix it! It'll be worth it in the end.

About the author -

Raven Bower is the author of the upcoming horror novel, Apparitions (ArcheBooks May 2007)

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Anonymous Mark said...

Well, it's usually a good thing to remember our own advices ... ;)

Seriously though, I can vouch for that advice. It really does work. Sure, you may need to do so minor. Or major... recasting, but it'll get the story and plot flowing and going.

As my grandpa loved to say... "Laddie, if you're not getting through the wall, it's always a good idea to take a step back... and try the door."

Tue Mar 13, 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Raven Bower said...

haha and he was right! Sometimes we're too close to see that there's a door just a few feet down the wall.

If we take the time to step back, look and use it things will go a lot smoother.

Wed Mar 14, 04:54:00 PM  

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