The other day I was telling my husband about a story I’d just read. When I finished, his comment was, “Sounds boring – too much like real life.”
Honestly, he wasn’t wrong. Even though it was written well and a decent enough story, it was mundane. The sort of thing that happens somewhere every day in some form or another. And the ending was fairly predictable too. Some might say it was formulaic.
I think there’s a place for stories like that, but even so, a slight twist of the plot could have shown us the story from a whole different perspective, which would have made it stand out from all the other stories in that genre and all the other stories on my kindle too.
It was a little ironic that I found myself bored with the short story I’m currently working on just a couple days later. It’s a bad sign when a writer is bored with her own work. My problem is, I’m on a pretty tight deadline and I’m a pantser, so I tend to fall into “auto-writer” mode sometimes and just type, not really thinking about what I’m writing until I hit that one particular spot…
And then I realize that my story is boring. It needs something. Something that will make it…not mundane.
So I start thinking about everything I expect to happen based on what I’ve already written. Every possible, logical way that the story could reach its climax.
And then I take one of the most likely options, and twist it upside down. I figure out how to make the implausible plausible, and I’m off and writing again with a fresh look at a situation we’ve all read about before.
Next time you find yourself staring at your story and wondering how to twist things up a bit, figure out where it would most likely go in “real life”, and turn that upside down. Your readers will thank you, and you’ll have a lot more fun too!