Story Momentum

coffee dateHi everyone! Welcome to my first Coffee Date Friday! Every fourth Friday of the month I am opening my blog up to questions from my readers. You can ask anything from writing to personal (for the most part ;). I first announced this on my Facebook page and already have a couple questions lined up. So I will start with those. If you think of more questions, leave them in the comments and each month I will answer a couple of them. Now let’s begin!

Brenda asks, “How do you keep the momentum of the story going?

Take out all the boring parts ;). Ok, that’s only part of it. When I first start dreaming up a story, I see different scenes in my head. I keep a folder on my computer with those scenes in it. Then when it comes time to actually write the book, I take those scenes and start moving them around, testing them and seeing if and how they fit together. If they don’t fit, they get axed. If they do, I ask how did my characters end up in those situations?

It’s amazing how our subconscious ties things together. Many times those scenes fall into place, creating the story for me. And then I write it.

There are different story aspects that keep a story going: the romance thread (are they going to fall in love?), the mystery thread (what’s going to happen next?), the villain thread (how is the hero going to stop the villain?), the “make things worse” thread (wow, how is the hero going to get out of that one?), and so on. By using at least one of these per chapter, I keep the reader turning the page. That is how I keep the momentum of the story going.

Thanks for asking, Brenda!

Now for the next question.

Maegen asks, “Do you ever get stuck in a scene or chapter? If so how do you get the story moving again?”

First, I love the way you spell your name! Very unique take on Megan 🙂

Ok, so I made it sound like all I have to do is dream up the scenes, put them together like a jigsaw puzzle and write the story in the previous question. I wish it was that simple. Then I would never get stuck in a scene.

Sadly, there are times when I do get stuck. I call them “plot knots”. It’s where something isn’t working out, or the story is getting boring, or I’ve written myself into a corner and can’t get out. So yes, I do get stuck in a scene or chapter. And that’s when I panic (especially if I’m under a deadline) and wonder why I didn’t just choose to do something else with my life, like become a professional cake baker ;P

So how do I get moving again? Well, if I get the sense that it’s a boring scene, I axe it right then and there. If it’s a scene that is needed but the pieces aren’t working together, I take a break. I go for a bike ride, play a video game, watch a movie, read a book outside my genre, something to give that part of my brain a rest. Usually the scene will come to me that day or the next (and usually right at bedtime too!).

However, there are days when I’m just stumped. That’s when I move on and work on a different part of the book, on a scene and chapter I already have firmly inside my mind until the problem scene works itself out. Luckily those are few and far between.

Thanks for the question, Maegen!

That’s all for today. If you have any questions you would like me to answer next month during my Coffee Date Friday, please leave them in the comments below 🙂


9 thoughts on “Story Momentum”

  1. Thanks for answering my question! And you spelled my name right lol. Some family members don’t even do that! That was definitely some helpful information on what to do when you get stuck. I cant wait to read your next book. 🙂

  2. It was really neat to read your approach to writing and occasional problems you face as a writer. It made me wonder about what my brother-in-law (Robert Treskillard) does when he hits a wall. (My brother-in-law was the one who recommended your site to me). I look forward to your monthly coffee date Fridays and responses to other readers’ questions.

  3. This is great Morgan. A wonderful idea. And I love the way you keep one of the story questions in mind for each ch. very helpful. Hmmm…I would like to know what your revision process looks like. I’m revising right now and could use some tips.

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