As promised, I decided to write today based on what I learned from the post I so desperately tried to force out last night. Why did I delete it? Not only did I initially feel forced to write something after reading another blog, but the topic I had in mind lost its focus near the end of the post. I was writing about working on Act II  in my outline and how it started to get difficult for me to come up with ideas, but the reason I put the blame to – a horrible ending – wasn’t at fault.

I’m not even sure if you could call my problem a plot-based one. The idea still feels solid and it is something that I’m going to stick with until it becomes an issue. The problem was the lack of substance in my plot and ignoring questions that began to form as I continued shaping the plot.

Why is the antagonist so bent on following through with their plans?

What drives the protagonist and prevents them from doing X, Y, or Z?

Where does the conflict go from the first clash and how can it stay interesting afterward?

When I found that these questions were subconsciously popping up and I ignored them, I felt the passion for my work melt away and the frustration mount higher and higher. If I couldn’t create a solid outline, what hope did I have for making the story interesting? So I did what most people would do around 2AM – I slept on it and let my ideas stew. Before I knew it, I had discovered things about my plot that I had no clue about when I first started writing the outline and these discoveries led to more questions that needed to be answered.

What does this tell me? You need to do some worldbuilding, dude!

Oh, the cities were there, the geography, while in need of work, existed, and the basic racial identities of the world’s inhabitants were there, but I completely ignored the most important – the culture! Without the mannerisms, religion (an integral part in this story), and the do’s and don’ts of this alien society, things just felt so flavorless. Even in our world, something that is done by children in the United States isn’t necessarily the norm in Africa, Iran, or China. This is quite obvious, but the subtleties make all the difference and help to add meat to the skeleton that is my plot.

So, for now, I think I’ll stop pretending that I’m some sort of discovery writer and jump into worldbuilding for a few days to see if I can fish out more answers to my questions.

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