Posted in plot/story

Continuity

Let’s say you are writing a novel or something shorter such as a novella. As you’re writing chapter 20, you forget about some details you wrote in chapter 3 or maybe 4. Because you forgot what was in chapters 3 or 4, the information you write in chapter 20 about the same details may be contradictive. Maybe this is happening in different places throughout your book (these are called plot holes or inconsistencies). There are three ways you can fix this.

  1. Keep track of the information in each chapter on note cards and keep them handy as you write.
  2. Don’t worry about fixing them until you finish your first draft, then go back to the beginning and read each chapter, keeping track of the details as you go by writing little notes in the side margins on what information needs to be fixed. Then fix them.
  3. Have another person in addition to yourself read your first draft to look for these issues.

If you don’t fix plot holes, your readers will end up not being very happy with you. You want to make sure the read for them smooth. You don’t want them to have to stop and wonder.

Posted in plot/story

Connections

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Bridges, websites, people, situations, events. What do all of these things have in common? They all have an opportunity to link. Whether the link is two shores connected to by a bridge, a website that connects us to information, two people having a lot in common, or two or more situations or events having some kind of link/connection between them; they all allow for a connection in some way.

So too are the events, situations, and people within your story. How are they connected? How will you connect them? The answers to these questions only you can answer because it’s your story(s). A good way to check and make sure that the parts of your story connection is to ask yourself why something is happening. If they connect and have something to do with your story, that’s great. That’s what you want. But if they don’t, and they sound disjointed, ask yourself what is it that you can do to bring them together. Otherwise, it sounds like random information that has no place in your story. The result is a confused reader.

On the other hand, some random events shed some light on something else. For example, Let’s say you have Mary who is with her boyfriend Charles. They are in the middle of a heated discussion as they are walking down the street. Charles is speaking to Mary, but a beautiful sunset caught her attention as they are walking by an open area that displays a beach in the distance. Charles could care less about the sunset. He is more focused on the discussion (even though she points out the sunset).

In the above example, the sunset plays no part in the story itself. It’s random. BUT, what it DOES do is give the reader insight into the character of Mary. Thus, making a connection between the character of Mary and the reader. That’s good. You want that. It creates empathy. But that’s a whole other blog post.