Tuesday, July 19, 2016


I love subplots, subtext, and making the most of every word I use.

Here's a tip for giving your chapter/novel depth.

Once you'ver written that first draft, and maybe even after you've edited it, critically examine it and ask yourself this: What can I add or change to further the plot or add another aspect of characterization?

The most ordinary instances can become purposeful and lead to a more developed story.

For instance, your character is a guest at dinner. Add one item to the menu that reminds him of a good or bad event in his life - and weave that event into your story.

Your character is walking through a building for the first time. Maybe he sees something that profoundly affects him and incites choices he makes later on.

Your character is having a conversation with a friend, something he often does. The first three such conversations can be a normal exchange of information. Now you've got the reader at ho-hum, change it up, so your reader sits up straight and thinks, "Whoa!What's this?"

Or maybe the friend implies something but never says it - but it's not lost on the character and the friendship is altered, for good or for bad. Make that part of your plot.

And speaking of plots, try having more than one plot running at a time and make them all work for the good of the story.

People talk about "page turners" as if they're the barometer of a great story. Sure, I occasionally enjoy a story I can whip through fairly quickly.

But think in terms of "page stayers," words so compelling they force your reader to soak up each one. Sure, it's harder for the reader. Some might argue readers are getting lazier.

And yet, think about the books that have stayed with you over time. The books that resonated something inside you, books you cannot forget. Write that kind of book.

Just a thought.

No comments: