Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I find I struggle to write about story, the mundane part that exists between action, the part that connects the reader to the characters, the part that must be interesting and detrimental to world building, to give the reader a true sense of being there.

It’s a riddle I hope to unlock, without it my book is doomed to fail.

While reading my book I realize there has to be more than action and strife, there must be more, something subtle to draw the reader in.

I always thought I was doing that, but it seems I was just filling space until the next action scene.

How do you write about life, things your characters do while growing individually and collectively at the same time?

This might be a question no one can answer for me, but any thoughts might help me see the light.

I feel growth as a group of characters is vital to my story… hell for that matter any story really.

The little things like school, chores, work or anything like that I fail to make it interesting. These things must be there so the reader wants to be a part of it—live it—imagine it.

Like the harry potter books, Hogwarts was the main reason readers loved those books… well in my mind at least. It was a place we all could connect with and wish we could live it… everyone who was a fan thought about going to a magical school—our minds were filled with possibilities.

I hope I can find away to make it work, or my debut as an aspiring author will be short lived.


  1. Story is all about what you're trying to say. Action gets the blood racing. Tragedy and pathos touch the heart. Humor lightens it.

    But under it, there needs to be something you're sharing with the reader, the secret (and it can be a complex multi-layer secret) that makes the action more than just swordplay and brings the tragedy to life so that someone's reading through tears.

    There's more than one way to do it, but I look for (in books) and write with characters. If I want to talk about society or growing or responsibility or perspective or finding one's own strength, I do it with my characters, how they interact, who they are, what they choose to become . . . the decisions they make.

    Action and magic and romance - if you don't have someone to care about, what do they matter? In the end, it's who they are that make you cheer them during their battles . . . or it doesn't matter who wins.

  2. I'm not sure it's Hogwarts. It's magic, yes, something special, true...

    For me, though, it's Harry. It's the hope I hold inside that I am more than what people think of me... that I might someday surprise even myself by what I will someday do.

    Everything should happen for a reason. Nothing should kill time. Nothing should be extraneous--not a page, not a sentence, not a character, not an event. All of it has meaning, or it has no business being there. Everything has to matter.

    I'm not sure how much this speaks to what you've brought up... sorry if nothing does...

  3. I think the best way to learn how to build story is by re-reading books that you have liked reading and seeing what drew you into the book. Sometimes I do that when I am looking for help on my writing. I read some of the books that I felt had such a strong pull and that efficiently created an alternate world and note all the little things the writer did to achieve that and try to use it in my own writing.

    Hope this helps!

  4. This is hard to figure out. I know that with each story I write, I seem to take a leap up to the next level in my writing. Or at least I feel like I am. Have you had a critique partner critique for you? Maybe you can gain some insight from that.

  5. WOW you kind of just described the past year of my life in this post! I wrote my first novel and I realized that it didn't have enough action or oomph it fell flat and didn't follow through with plot lines. Why? Because I was avoiding conflict. I like to get a long with people. As writers, we have to force ourselves head on into conflict. I'm sure someone with uber strong body armor can manage!
    p.s. I'm going to be posting not this monday but the next about value and weight. Which is how we filter out the filler and only get to the really juicy stuff.