When i finish filming the Xmas Special, I’ll probably write up some production notes on the Making of World Enough And Time and The Doctor Falls. Feel free to send questions, although I’m wary of the viciousness and misinterpretations sometimes. However, I do this for the lovely readers who are so kind to me. (Kind – very important word). And who love Who, love film-making and appreciate the inner workings of the complexities of what we do.
I will say one thing right now. It’s been an absolute joy to work on Doctor Who.
From a production standpoint, it’s a wonderful challenge. All episodes, except Xmas, are budgeted for the same time and money, so all my 50-60 minute eps have been done for what should be exactly the same as the 45 minute ones. It is massive credit to the Who production team that they squeeze out every extra hour and £ to make these 60 minute challenges. That’s 25% more material in maybe 10% more time. That goes from production to editing (same amount of time to edit 60 as to edit 45, with that much more material!) Same with number of Visual Effects, time in the grade, amount to compose for, to design sound for, etc, etc.
Our post schedule on these last two was crazy - we only finished shooting in April. Hence Steven mentioning we were still completing ep 12 this week! It is true. Always trying to make it better.
And we only filmed the David Bradley sequences a few weeks ago. From camera to edit to sound in 24 hours.
I’ll say it again – it’s wondrous to work on Who, especially for the support and brilliance I receive from Steven Moffat, Brian Minchin and Pete Bennett, (to name a few).
When I went to speak with a group of high school writers (the event that prompted this “series”, almost all of them asked me about “worldbuilding.” Wikipedia defines worldbuilding as “the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe;” I define it as that thing I always forget to do.
Worldbuilding is particularly important if you write fantasy because in a completely made up universe, everything is up to you: there are no pre-established rules. You event the landscape, the towns, the people, the hierarchies, the leadership. You are god.
But for all of the realistic fiction writers out there, world building is a little different. It’s certainly less overwhelming, definitely takes less memorization, but it does have more rules. The question I always find myself asking is: do I base this story in a real town, or do I make it up?
What I’ve found to be the best solution is a mix of both: I choose a town I am familiar with, and I base my “fake town” off of it. This means I can add in a grocery store that doesn’t exist, a local pool that was never built, and, of course, if I want to talk about how terrible a place is, I don’t have to defame a real location.
The advice “write what you know” is probably the most prominent in settings, which is why it’s so common to find all of an author’s books set in the same location (or coincidentally in all the different locations that author has lived in throughout their life). The way I see it, there are so many other things I need to keep track of (like character arcs, plots, actually writing) that I don’t have the patience to also research and learn new places, but for some writers, this is the best part, the chance to escape the place they know and go anywhere in the world via their writing.
If you fall into this second category, here are a few rules of thumb:
Just because a place is “foreign” to you, does not mean it is to everyone, so please don’t treat your setting (especially if it’s in a different country) as “exotic” (as this can often come across as a fetishization of a race, people, culture, or land). It’s also, frankly, just less realistic. If your character lives in that place you desperately want to live in, they’re not going to see it every day with the wide eyes and fascination that you, the author, have. They’re going to complain that the drug store on the corner isn’t open and bitch about the weather. (This is different, of course, if your character is a newbie in this land and visiting, if they are seeing it for the first time; then the wonder and first impressions are valid to express.)
It might help to get a map. Finding a city website will also help (there you’ll find information about parks and rec, town history, libraries, public buildings, etc.). But being able to actually visualize the place will you allow to drop your character into that setting with a better idea of what will really be surrounding them. If you can visit the place even better! But what’s important is to get a street view one way or another, an idea of what it looks like to the left, right, forward, and back of where your character will be standing. Will they see hills on the horizon, just above the buildings’ tops? Is there a skyline? Is the air cool or muggy? What amenities does the town have? What is the wild life like? (Don’t write a squirrel into the scene, for example if there aren’t any in that climate.)
Don’t let the setting hold you back. If there is no city on Earth that has everything in it that you need for your story to take place, it’s okay to make a place up. Just make sure that place has its own set of rules that make sense and add up logically (don’t say it’s a town of 300 people and then give it a strip mall, for example–that sort of thing would never be built for that population).
Keep track of your location! Whether your setting is real or made up (in which case you should keep a folder of your notes and maybe a hand drawn map), you should have something (a map, a list of places, a picture, etc.) to refer back to while writing. In order to keep the surroundings consistent, I find myself constantly scrolling up to an earlier moment in the story; I can never remember if I made the local park have a purple slide or blue. It sounds silly, but it’s all in the details, and the more accessible you can make this information, the easier a time you’ll have later (and the less time you’ll spend editing).
To all the writers out there: how do you figure out your setting and what are you tips for keeping things consistent and realistic throughout a larger work?
Feel free to add to this post or submit your own advice to share with your fellow writers at ancwritingresources.tumblr.com
There’s a travel-themed Instagram account suddenly gets a lot of people’s attention. It’s like most of the travel-themed account where the owners travel to a lot of countries and share beautiful photos on their trip.
It could be the good look of the blogger or the aesthetic photos he takes that people start paying attention to the blog. Some fans even dig deep enough to know the photographer’s name is Iwaizumi Hajime.
Iwa updates very often, snips of his trip on Instagram four or five or tentimes a day. There are scenery, foods, merchandise in a shop, people on the street or just everything (including himself.)
Iwa gets quite a few (well, many) followers in a short time and is dubbed “your vagabond lover” among his fans because Iwa tends to leave messages such as “Did you see this dog? I’d love to cuddle you but I need to hug it first.” on a dog picture or “What do you think? You’d fall in love with this instead of me really.” on a scenery photo like he’s talking to a lover. He also ends everyday with a picture of himself, may it be a selfie or a candid photo taken by a friend he befriends on the trip, saying good night or good day.
There’s a follower who always leaves long message below Iwa’s post. It’s usually a short story that matches the picture or their thoughts or what they feel about the photo. Their words work so well with Iwa’s photo that more people follow Iwa’s Instagram account for both their sakes.
One day, without any notification, Iwa suddenly disappears for a long time without posting anything. Then after a few days he resurfaces with a dim selfie of himself in a hospital room, smiling so bright to lit the dark room.
There’s someone in the bed besides him, sleeping peacefully and unaware of the camera. The caption says “I can’t wait to see the world with you.”
The blog remains silent after that.
Followers are confused until a couple days later, the writer-follower appears and writes a story about a boy and his lover, where the boy is diagnosed of serious illness and needs to take a risky surgery. The boy has a dream to see the world and is afraid he could never be able to after he learns about the surgery. His lover believes the boy can make it through no matter what but doesn’t want the boy to have any regret before taking the surgery so the lover suggests to go see the world for the boy instead. He travels to the places the boy wants to see, taking picture of the scenery and himself for the boy staying in the hospital room. The lover gets back before the surgery and sits through the whole time outside the operating room. And to the lover’s greatest joy, the boy makes it!
Two months later, the blog becomes active again, starting with a selfie of Iwa and another handsome man, holding their hands to the camera, big smiles on their faces, in an airport. The caption says “We are ready to go. Are you ready?”
In this experimental MAD, I decided to do something different and maybe got a little mad. Gerardo gave me a fantastic landscape to work with and I had it in my mind to change it completely. Of course that should not happen as the essence of the picture stays the same, but I wanted to intensify the colors and made them more artificial. Not sure if I succeeded and let you decide.
As a general note, it’s not that easy to edit another person’s picture but if you have someone to work with, give it a try. It’s fun.
PWS MAD - Heiko
My first reaction when I looked at Heiko’s edit was Wow!
gave him one of my standard foggy landscapes with a lake and some trees
and he managed to transform the atmosphere completely. Instead of a
cold foggy winter landscape he gives us a lush and tropical scene that
feels like coffee and rum. It is so inviting,I just want to sit there on
the shore and immerse myself in the mood.
All that is left to do is to find out how he did it, because I would like to see how this edit works on my other landscapes
See, the first time that Newt got lost in Asclepius’ hospital and ended up in Graves’ highly warded highly secret room, he could chalk it up to a strange set of coincidences. An accident, maybe. He took a few wrong turns, a couple of wrong staircases, somehow got an overly pushy snidget soft toy foisted on him by an insistent gift shop, and ended up explaining his theory of flight magic to a comatose director for… a while? He kind of lost track of the time. The charmed window had rolled over to a balmy sunset by the time the door reappeared and the snidget chivvied him out of the room, but Newt hadn’t thought it was that long.
But that’s beside the point. The first time it happened, Newt thought it was an accident. A one off at the very least - he was hardly in the habit of visiting the hospital and wandering off by himself. He wasn’t, in fact, anywhere near the hospital, and Graves wasn’t on his mind, and the door leading out of the gents on MACUSA’s third floor was not supposed to lead to a familiar room with a familiar occupant in the single bed.
The snidget - Steve, it was a stuffed toy but it was a remarkably animated stuffed toy and it deserved a name - wormed its way out of his pocket and chirrupped hopefully at him. He looked over his shoulder but without much optimism; the door he had just walked through was, indeed, gone.
“My apologies, Mr Graves,” Newt said to the sleeping figure. “I won’t be a moment, sorry for disturbing you.” He ushered the snidget away to the furthest corner and lowered his voice.
“Now, listen,” he told it as sternly as he could manage. “You can’t make a habit of kidnapping people like this. I can’t make a habit of being kidnapped like this. I got in enough trouble last time, thank you, so take me back.”
“Back, Steve. I’m not leaving my case in the Auror department by itself.”
Steve gave a low, despondent whistle and landed back on his shoulder, but at least the door rematerialised. How, exactly, it managed to drop him off halfway across the city at the Woolworth’s building Newt didn’t know, but it seemed petty to question it at this point.
He quashed the feelings of guilt about leaving Graves behind. The man had the best care MACUSA could give him, and really, Newt was a complete stranger. He shouldn’t be interfering. What he should be doing is reporting the hole in the wards to Tina or at the very least working out exactly what magic was powering Steve and how it was connected to the hospital. Somehow Newt was never very good at doing what he should, and somehow it was strangely difficult to put Graves out of his mind and focus on the various forms and legislation Tina needed him to run through.
Somehow he wasn’t surprised that walking out the door an hour later with his coat on and his case in hand did not, in fact, lead him to the apparition point.
“Hello again, Mr Graves,” he greeted with a feeling of cautious relief. He’d hoped to be able to come back, but it never did to count on such things. “I’m sorry for leaving so suddenly earlier, but I’m free for the evening if you don’t mind me staying.” He slipped his coat off and hung it on the hook that materialised from the wall and walked over to his chair by the bed without needing prompting. Steve, whizzing in lazy circles around his head, looked insufferably proud.
“I brought my notes this time,” Newt said conversationally as he opened his case. “I won’t be a moment.”
It was… nice, would be the best way to describe it. Newt had his notes, had Steve trying to make a nest out of his hair (and Newt really needed to check on Steve’s animation charms, this was getting ridiculous), Pickett sat on his shoulder and fussily untangling Steve’s work, and Graves’ sleeping form as his patient audience. He was mostly in the editing stage by this point, condensing entire notebooks of research down into a short entry for each creature he’d come across -
“ - but I was thinking, maybe, of leaving this one as a sort of quick reference encyclopedia book and writing more in depth books on each species, what do you think? Or maybe not each species but maybe the groups of them, each continent perhaps - no those books would be too big. Maybe I should just make the entries longer and stick to one book. One giant book. I could put expandable charms on each section so you could tap your wand to the creature’s name and get a whole chapter dedicated to them, how amazing would that be? A mite impractical, but maybe for special editions… “
It was nice to talk it over with Graves. It helped Newt organise his thoughts, and let’s face it, he liked talking about his creatures. He just very rarely found someone who would listen, and maybe it was a bit unfair to be taking advantage of Graves like this but… Well. It was nice.
So the first time was an accident, the second time lasted all of a minute, and the third time went long into the night before the sleepy snidget started tugging Newt towards the door. He left reluctantly, still juggling papers on lethifolds and wondering whether to include the eyewitness account he’d been given or stick to his own research.
“Oh stop fussing, I’m going, I’m going - I’ll see you tomorrow, Mr Graves, have a good night - good grief Steve calm down - “
The door closed behind him with hurried but silent force and Newt blinked owlishly at the deserted alley he found himself in. It seemed to be one of the back exits to the MACUSA building; the sunken cellar door behind him was layered with enough muggle repellents to give him a headache just standing there. He peered suspiciously at Steve. “How, exactly, are you managing this?” he asked the stuffed toy. If it even was a stuffed toy. Steve tucked himself into Newt’s pocket with Pickett and refused to answer.
He didn’t answer the fourth time, when Newt stumbled through a door in his flat and arrived in Graves’ room half dressed with a toothbrush hanging out of his mouth, or the fifth time when Newt carried a steaming mug of tea and a sandwich through to what should have been his living room. By the sixth time, Newt had started keeping his notes shrunk in his pocket rather than his case; times seven and eight he’d added an expansion charm, a thermos of tea and a portable cooking stove and regaled Graves with stories of misadventures in local cuisine as he put together a basic stew. Chili, that’s all Newt was saying. Entirely unreasonable quantities of hot chili.
“You know,” he remarked, somewhere around time ten - eleven? - that he’d set up camp in the corner of Graves’ room, “I think I spend more time here than in my actual flat. Between here and the case, I do wonder why I’m paying the rent on it.” He lent forward, chin resting on his knees and wrists loosely crossed over his ankles. Graves was - as ever - still and silent, but Newt had managed to add a few bits and pieces. Weightless charms, to reduce the risk of bedsores. Tweaks to the lighting charms on the ceiling, to better mimic the sun and the rhythm of the day. A bit of a breeze. Smells, outdoor smells - people tended to overlook smell, but it was one of the most important senses. If Graves was even a little aware of his surroundings, Newt thought he should have some better smells around than sterile hospital linen.
He could do more, if he wasn’t worried about tripping the monitoring wards. Turning artificial spaces into natural habitats was what Newt did, what he was good at, and Asclepius’ hospital was all but overflowing with ambient magic that existed to heal - Newt could have turned the cramped room into open Savannah plains if he could convince the hospital it would help Graves. He itched to, occasionally; maybe not plains, but maybe New York? Maybe Graves would prefer the feel of his city, the sounds of busy streets and the rumbling grind of daily life. Newt would like to ask him.
Steve perked up suddenly, interrupting Newt’s thoughts as he took wing and hovered by the door that melted out of the wall. And there, ultimately, was the only thing stopping Newt from moving in: the irregular check ups from Graves’ doctors and guards. Technically, Newt wasn’t supposed to be there. Even if he was eighty seven percent sure that it was the hospital itself that kept dragging him back, Newt doubted that the aurors would take kindly to his intrusion.
“I’ve got to go,” he told Graves regretfully as he moved over to the anchor stones he’d placed around the bed. A wave of his wand collected them and cancelled the atmosphere charms he’d been running, and he felt the walls sigh as Asclepius’ resettled the usual window illusions and wards into place. “We need to talk about your sentient buildings when you wake up though, because I’m starting to lean towards your hospital being possessed. In a good way - did I tell you about the Lares spirits I met? You’d like those, I think.”
He stopped for a moment, staring at Graves and wondering if Graves would, in fact, like them. Newt knew nothing about Graves. He could infer a lot from the auror’s near devotion to him - from Tina’s devotion - and from the harsh persona Grindelwald had pulled on to impersonate him, but.
Graves was pale, in a way that said he was usually tanned but had been kept away from the sun for too long. His hair was dark brown, not black, and it fanned around his head on the pillow. There were furrows etched into his forehead and the beginnings of crows feet at the edge of his eyes, and Newt pushed a stray strand of hair back and wondered if they were from anger or stress. If you worry you suffer twice, but even Newt can’t help but worry when his creatures are in danger and if what Tina said was true - well, maybe Graves worried for his aurors the same as Newt did for his creatures?
“If you’d only wake up,” he whispered, allowing his fingers to rest in Graves’ surprisingly soft hair, “I could ask.”
Steve flittered urgently at the door. Newt couldn’t hear the footsteps on the other side of the wall, but he knew better than to push his luck. He picked up his case and slipped through the door and into an innocuous back street just as the wards peeled back to allow the aurors into the room.
Some Off-The-Cuff Writing Editing Tips bc I’m Writing and Editing Today
I’m editing my essay and splurge-writing my novel today: after doing the editing it’s become harder to free write without editing, as is my policy for this novel draft, because I’m hyper-aware of all the flaws haha
so, some tips, to get them out of my head:
If you have to read a sentence twice, that sentence needs clarifying or simplifying. All your sentences should make sense without interrupting the flow of reading. Maybe you need to switch some clauses around, break it into shorter sentences, or simplify the language. This can be really tricky, I know; sometimes it feels like, ‘this is the only way to say it!’ If that’s the case, leave it and come back to it later; it might make more sense then.
Leave your writing for at least one day before you edit it. You can edit immediately after finishing writing something, but if you do, you should go through it again another day. If your writing is so fresh in your mind that you remember every word you wrote, your brain might be filling it what it remembers writing rather than letting you read what’s actually on the page, and you’ll end up skimming and missing some typos. You’ll read it too quickly, thinking I know what I wrote. I usually get my dad to read for typos, because he’s the slowest reader I know; slow reading = better typo-finding.
If you have used a colon and/or a semicolon more than once in a sentence that is not a list, it needs to be two sentences. The same could be said of dashes but - as exemplified here - a pair of dashes forming a sidenote is fine. Also, don’t try to use semicolons if you don’t know how; god knows I wish I could turn back time and erase them from my vocabulary because I do know how to use them and boy do I use them, waayyy too much. modern writing doesn’t really need them.
As my professor once wrote on an essay I handed in, any sentence that goes on for six lines is too long. Yes, I actually Did That.
Think about terms of address. This is big issue in my novel atm; the pov switches from chapter to chapter, and the characters are getting to know each other slowly so the terms of address will change not only from chapter to chapter, but also as the story goes on. You may call that character by their name in your head, but maybe your narrator would call them by a nickname, or by their surname/title. This is, believe it or not, actually somewhat applicable to essay-writing too: the amount of times I’ve almost referenced a familiar academic or character/figure by their first name…
Unless you’re writing sarcastically/ironically, in first person/inner monologue, or for children/childishly, exclamation marks in the narration usually read badly. I’m sure it can be done, but it’s usually best to avoid it. Unless you’re using the exclamation mark to indicate a tone of voice, consider if it’s deflating rather than adding to the tension of your sentence. It’s a voice-focused piece of punctuation and should really be reserved for speech or inner monologue.
Adverbs are not evil (despite popular opinion), but double adverbs are usually a bad idea. The same goes for double adjectives. If they describe two different things or two different aspects of a thing - eg, pink and white stripes, walking slowly and carefully, or silent and deadly assassin - you can get away with it, but only sparingly. If you have two adverbs/adjectives that say basically the same thing - she was quiet and shy, this is correct and true, she writes plainly and clearly - scrap one, or find a new word that better encompasses the subtleties of both. If you’re using a lot of adverbs, maybe question whether the verbs need to be talking louder instead. But remember, no entire word group is inherently bad, c’mon writing tips people why do you want to destroy adverbs??
‘Purple Prose’ is not evil either, but consider where your metaphors/similes/description may have gotten too extensive and broken the flow of your writing. Too much of any one thing clumped together can ‘clog up’ your writing, so consider if maybe certain chunks of description - or monologue or speech - could be making this section monotonous, and maybe break it up with something else or shorten it. Variety is helpful for keeping people interested.
Have you jumped? By this I mean, have you stopped talking about one thing and gone straight on to something totally different? Jumps can be okay, as long as they’re clearly signposted, and as long as the end of the last section and the beginning of the new one are well-closed and well introduced respectively. Any big gaps need to be at least slightly bridged. Alternatively, you could not jump at all and fill the gap in.
Are you overusing or repeating one word or phrase? I once read a biography of JK Rowling that used the phrase ‘deliriously happy’ for every single good moment in her life. I hated that phrase by the end. Try not to use the same word or phrase to describe everything. It can be hard to spot this in your own writing so beta readers are helpful here. WARNING: this does not go for ‘said’! You are allowed to use ‘said’ and other simple words as much as you like! people will, however, pick up if you use a more specific word too frequently. A comment on my last graded piece was ‘stop saying understanding’ - I’d used it three times in two sentences…
I’m sure there’s lots more, but that’s all that comes to mind right now. Please remember that these are TIPS and note RULES - there are no ‘rules’ to writing, you do you, this is just what helps me and some common things my teachers have advised me against
please add your own tips to this post and let’s make it into an editing masterpost!
Can’t wait to take the little man out for his international debut next week!
In the meantime, I uploaded a new video to YouTube! It’s a vlog type video from Longines Masters Paris, so you should check it out, and maybe leave it a like and subscribe?
I’ll post more soon if this goes well! What do you guys want to see next? A barn vlog, pre- Reed Kessler, training or some clips from my George Morris clinic? (I’ll also have some show vlogs from Spain and I’ll also do an edit when I hit some more subs).
maybe it’s ironic that spring and autumn are my favourite seasons. they are soft and calm and pastel and they simply give a quiet scent of their essence. a dab of perfume. the whisper of a wind. they’re light and warm and cool. the colours are those in-between ones. the peaceful pinks and soft tumbles of orange and brown. it’s light caresses from the sun and kisses from the breeze.
and yet here i am. in all my terrible glory. i am fire and ice. never something in the middle. never a grey area. too much and not enough. too big and too small. too much of one thing and not enough of the other. i’m something of a paradox. two ends of a spectrum in a violent concoction that should never have existed. i cancel myself out. the positive and the negative. until i am neutral. until i am nothing. i am summer and winter. harsh heat and burning cold. i don’t make sense. i melt what i freeze. i burn ice. i’m just a puddle on the floor. no more significant than the charcoal at the end of a fire. i’m burning myself out. i am black and i am white. i poison each side of myself with the other. i cancel myself out. until i am nothing.
Damn dude. Not only did Jack host a sweet show WITHOUT his fans screaming awful obscenities the entire show and being rude to the other host, but he also hung out in the Grumps 5 year anniversary live show AND to top it all off, hung out with THE Brian Regan, a guy Mark heavily looks up to. Sssssss. Yikes. I dont wanna be that guy but, Mark really fucked it up with SuperMega big time, and possibly with the Grumps as well. I tHINk he -kinda- got "replaced" with Jack. Good call, if thats the case.
Took a little bit to figure out how to develop a satisfactory reply, but, here goes:
Yeah, I won’t deny things were, to put it lightly, rough with Mark, Matt, and Ryan. But, I’m not sure if we know enough information, especially given time passed, to say if things with the Grumps are, by extension, also screwed. Not to say they are on great terms, either; making amends, if it ever works and if Mark, Matt, and Ryan wish to collaborate (which, given the work-friends contributing to the split, might be hard), isn’t linear. I don’t know how great Mark’s strain on their relationship was.
And while I really hope that’s no longer the case about shows that Mark is on, yes, good for Jack. Although, it’d probably be best if we didn’t compare Mark and Jack as though they’re serious rivals (for lack of better word; not that you necessarily were?). Otherwise, if Jack does something great that Mark should do or work on - or maybe vice versa - that would be great for people to voice.
(DISCLAIMER: While my viewing of Game Grumps is becoming more frequent actually, I can’t exactly attune to how their circle of friends works. Any clarification? Thanks in advance!)
EDIT: A mutual and I have actually been wondering: Did Mark just decline at least the Grump show for the sake of giving Jack some spotlight? Not something that’s likely or unlikely; just something they’ve brought up, and silly little me never thought about.
So I was working on a fic, stopped about a year ago because of an issue I was having; I'm basically going through the events of the game and I don't know how to make it more interesting. I'm worried about pacing, making things go too fast or too slow, not having enough going on between fights/plot points to warrant enough time between them. I don't want to go too fast or too slow. Do you have any advice? (I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself well)
You’re explaining yourself just fine, love! I understand this feeling >.< I’m always hyperaware of pacing, and it can really harm my first-draft productivity! But it’s always for the same reason for me, and knowing that reason helps me to solve the problem.
Why Your Story Feels Too Fast
There are a few different reasons a story may come off as too fast – like your characters are teleporting from scene to scene, from emotion to emotion, with no real continuity or meat in between the Big Moments. Some common problems include:
There isn’t enough plot. When you start a draft with too vague an idea of what you’re writing, it can create a checklist effect: you look at your outline and use it as a map, but don’t have any idea what happens in between. That’s like going on a road trip with your car windows blacked out! You only know what’s happening when you get out of the car – not how you got there or where you’re going next. It’s disorienting for the reader, and pretty boring. Solution: Look to your characters. They’re going to be the source of all plots, because they’re the ones calling the shots and changing the story. Develop their personalities – their pasts and their goals and their conflicts and their own individual plots. Then work out how all these characters fit together; ask yourself why these particular characters were hand-chosen to tell this story. Once you transform your characters into people with lives, they aren’t as easily stowed in the toybox between plot points.
There’s too much plot. I know, I’m contradicting myself, but these are both possible reasons for this racing-through-the-plot feeling. Your story should be like a vacation – well-planned, so you don’t just sit on the couch all day, but still maintaining breathing room. If you stuff the story with too many subplots, conflicts, backstories, romances, and character arcs, there’s no room for anything natural to take place or change the plot. Solution: Take stock of your plots/subplots and decide which ones you really want. Which plots fit your story’s theme, message, and pacing? Which plots are unique, enjoyable, and inspire empathy in readers? Which plots are you writing because you want them, not because you feel obligated to add them in (*cough* needless love triangles *cough*)? Which plots feel natural and realistic for your characters? Whichever of your plots don’t fit these categories… detach from them. Throw them into the ocean. Change your name, dye your hair, and run to Mexico before they can catch you. Whatever it takes.
Your scenes are too short or long. Again, two ends of the spectrum: if your scenes are too short, you may be lacking some dialogue, character-building moments, or lasting/realistic conflict. If your scenes are too long, you may be exhausting certain plot points, winding up with such long chapters that you can’t fit the non-climactic scenes. Both tendencies can stem from weak chapter arcs (hook, meat, resolution, and hook for the next chapter) or a lack of development/confidence in your storytelling voice. Solution: Take some extra time to plan your chapters out – try to develop a more-or-less uniform chapter structure. If you find that no matter how structured your chapters are, they still come out too long or short, you may want to assess your author voice for lacking or having an excess of dialogue/description.
Your fictional timeline isn’t working. I’ve been guilty of this time and time again – planning a story spanning three months, then wanting to add in characters getting married or graduating college or taking down a dictatorship, until three months just isn’t feasible anymore. Solution: Decide which plot is the most important to you, and base the timeline around that. It may mean having to let some good subplots go, but in the end, a cohesive story is the more important victory. Otherwise, your readers will get lost, and every plot will suffer.
You’re unconfident in either your main plot or your filler. If you feel uncomfortable with the plot itself, you may throw all your chapters into advancing it, because you want to prove and improve it. If you feel uncomfortable with writing filler scenes, you may drive the plot forward in order to avoid filler. Neither of these is a matter of personal style. As writers, we are both the playwrights and the actors – we have to create a solid plot, and then go up on stage and add the flair and make the jokes and draw people in. We don’t get the option of being one or the other. We have to be both the cast and the crew, the architect and the realtor, the main course and the side dishes and the whole Thanksgiving feast. Solution: Get comfortable with it, as soon as possible; and that means you need to write. Go ahead and write the plot, and write the filler, and even if you think it all sucks, keep it in there. Write all the way through the first draft until the story is out and you’ve gotten some practice. Then go back, use that knowledge, and rewrite/edit those awkward scenes where you didn’t know what you were doing. Practice will make it better, I promise.
Of course, your problem may be something entirely different, so you can message me again with more information if you need! I’ll gladly take your question :)
But I hope this did help you and anyone else struggling with this! Thanks again, and happy writing <3