You've worked hard writing your story and put the final period down on paper. Then you let it sit for a while to marinate before diving into the revision process. Weeks or months later, you open up your document ready to dive into that amazing story and ... the plot just isn't working. You've read it and re-read it and something isn't right.
Suddenly that story you were so excited about feels like a total miss and ready for the garbage. After all, fixing a story's plot feels overwhelming and sometimes it seems easier just to start over with something new.
But before you deem it a lost cause, I want to encourage you that fixing a story's plotline isn't as daunting as it feels. Here are some things I take a look at when a story's plot is falling flat.
If your plot doesn't feel quite right, don't despair! Most early drafts suffer from these plot mishaps because you're still actively discovering your story and your characters. And that's a good thing! With each subsequent draft, your plot will grow more focused and your characters stronger.
Though it may seem like a big revision, it's easier to tackle plot problems than you think. I find that making a simple outline of my major plot points works the best. It helps me to see more clearly what isn't working or feeling right when it's all laid out in front of me. Once I think I've found the problem, I create a plan of attack and literally write out what I'm hoping to change and accomplish with my next draft. Then I start with a completely new document so I'm not trying to squish my old story draft into a new mold.
Now that you know what to look for, it's time to roll up those sleeves and tackle that story!
Hi, I'm Jessica! I'm on a mission to make my writing better in hopes of becoming a published novelist. It's been a crazy journey so far as I learn the twists and turns of the publishing world, but it's been worth it. Though I'm still learning how to be the best writer I can be, I'm excited to share what I learn with you. Happy writing!