When You Can’t Make Your Story Work

Featured Image Credit: Cressida Downing writersandartists.co.uk

I’m sure we’ve all had moments like this, where an alluring idea crops up in your mind, you write down a few scenes, characters and your own logic to support it all before hitting a brick wall. Everything looks fine, but something doesn’t feel right. Eventually, after countless hours of rethinking, there’s only one conclusion: you can’t make your story work.

After having recently come to that conclusion regarding a long-term idea myself, I have my five cents to offer – because, you know, two cents aren’t made anymore – on how you could faze through that brick wall.

Reboot The Premise With The Same Story

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Image Credit: Clint Witchalls | ‘Anthill 5: Reboot – part 1′ Podcast theconversation.com

Do you think you could take your characters through a different set of events and still end up with the story you want to tell? It can be another long, sometimes tedious process just attempting to please yourself this way but if you can, it would be like having an epiphany! You got it! You broke through! The soul of your story doesn’t have to change no matter how many times you may scrap and rewrite.

It’s an unfortunate head-wreck however, when that doesn’t make you feel better about anything.

Look Closely At Your Tone & Theme

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Image Credit: stevegallik.org

Could your tone or your theme, or even both, be inaccurately expressing your story unknowingly? For example, you could mean to tell a horror story and accidentally end up with a comedy because there was a mismatch somewhere with your tone and/or theme. Under this guise, you could also turn something serious into more of a B-Movie! Tone and theme are easy aspects to skip right over and not give a second thought when you’re so excited to write that you get right in there without appropriate preparation.

This could be that thorn in your side. But what if it isn’t?

Mess Around With Your Characters

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Image Credit: Shannon Robb tweaktown.com

Throw some more in, take one or two out, change their personality, whatever you want. Just get crazy with it! What if this enables something to click in your mind?

Don’t forget to keep track of what you’ve written where in this case. There’s a chance this also doesn’t solve anything and you won’t want to lose any important details you had before.

Taking steps like this will create even more tangents for yourself and uncover more potential solutions. Creativity is limitless!

There’s also the unwelcome side of the coin: you might not be able to make your story work… right now. Don’t forget the ‘right now’. Time reveals all eventually, so don’t permanently scrap your entire story, especially if you can’t stop thinking about. Call it ‘taking a break’. You’ll get there!

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