Help on detail

by McCold

Question: Hi, i am writing my book and I really think that the plot was generating way too fast. In about a few pages A character died but I am starting to think they would be important for something before the plot. How can I add more to my story if I already know the main plot? Thanks.

Answer: Based on your brief description of the problem, here are a few things to think about.

First, ask yourself if the story really needs to be longer. Some stories work better as short stories or novellas. Sometimes trying to "pad" a story can make it less compelling and make a tight plot draggy.

However, the fact that you can see an important role for this character before the plot begins suggests that what you've written so far could become part of a bigger, more compelling story. If that is the case, one possibility is to have a flashback showing the key events involving your character before they died. The reader might also learn what happened through a recording (letter, video, etc.) or through another character's account of what happened.

You may also tell the story in non-chronological order. Some stories begin at the crisis and then jump back in time to tell the story of what led up to that crisis. This is particularly useful in cases
where the beginning of the story is not terribly compelling. Sometimes you may write a short story and then realize it is actually the crisis of a bigger story arc, and that telling the full arc would make a better story.

Bear in mind, the basic pattern of all dramatic arcs is...
setup --> complication --> crisis --> resolution

Full-length stories, such as novels, often have several arcs running in parallel. In addition to the main plot, there may be subplots, relationship arcs, the arc of your point-of-view character's inner conflict, etc. In a good story, these arcs are connected. They all contribute to the meaning and the outcome of the story. If your dead character's arc would make an important contribution to the story, thematically or plotwise, then you might consider developing it and letting the reader learn about it as the the main plot unfolds.

Just make sure that, if you are expanding the story, the events and scenes you add are all essential parts of a story arc -- whether the main plot or one of the other story arcs. Don't add scenes that are non-essential, no matter how much you like them, because non-essential scenes will undermine your pacing. Each event should draw the reader into the next event in that arc. Each event should add to the story, never detract.

Best of luck.

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