Let’s say you’ve confirmed your what-if idea is worth expanding into a whole story. Yay!
is where most people get stuck after they decide they want to write a novel.
They might write a few pages, or even a few chapters, and then stall out. Part
of this is waning interest and competing priorities; writing an entire novel is
hard and takes a long time, dammit! If you’re not committed, it’s probably not
In my last article, I discussed how authors often fall into
the trap of obsessing over irrelevant character details at the expense of info
that matters. You don’t need to know everything about a character, only certain
critical details: desires, strengths, and weaknesses. The same holds true for
starting a story: you don’t need to know everything, only certain things…but
you NEED to know those key things.