Story/plot is too boring perhaps

by Allysa

Question: I'm planning on writing a little fiction story revolving around senior high school students. It's basic gist is that a new girl transfers to her new school and tries to adjust to her new life. The story is basically random scenarios in the girl's life as a senior high schooler.

However, I want to add some drama...or "spice" to her friendship with her new best guy friend. I can't seem to come up with a situation for that...

It doesn't have to be long, as the main plot for this story is "daily lives of teenagers in school" but, got any advice for these kinds of stuff? Thanks!

Answer: I'm not sure if by "little" you mean novel length or short story.

At any rate, my biggest concern would be that the "daily lives of teenagers in school" doesn't sound like a story. At best, it would be very episodic. At worst, the problem is that most people's daily lives are rather dull. A story, on the other hand, is about an important change in someone's life, built of a series of small changes linked in a cause and effect relationship.

Even if you want to write a more character-driven story, you want a series of events that force a significant internal dilemma that can be resolved over the course of the story. Your main character must be pressured to change or mature by her relationships and external events. How she resolves her internal conflict will in turn affect the outcome of some external problem -- the story goal.

In a character-driven
story, the goal may have less significance than in a plot-driven story. It may simply be a vehicle that gets the main character to interact with others. (For instance, she might try to get involved in some project, activity, or clique at the new school as a way to meet people or find a place to fit in.)

Through her new relationships -- and especially the guy (who I'm guessing will be the impact character) -- she should be pressured to change her approach, to adopt a new way of being or doing. Whether the new way is better or worse, and whether she decides ultimately to change or becomes more determined to stay with her old approach, is up to you. However, her choice should affect the success or failure of that external effort in a way that shows the reader whether the choice she makes is the right one.

One way to find the drama of the story is to figure out who your main character is when she arrives at the new school. What's her unique approach to life? How does she see the world? What are her attitudes, beliefs, wants, dreams? Does she have some unresolved emotional issues? What are the boundaries of her comfort zone?

Then imagine a character (possibly the guy) who can challenge her to step out of her comfort zone, look at the world differently, or re-examine her beliefs. How might he appeal to her emotions?

That will create internal conflict and drama that will keep your reader interested in finding out what she does next.

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