Writing Books/im stuck


Iv'e been writing a fantacy book and i have written a good start but it isn't very long and i don't know what to put down next. how could i extend my writing and also how am i supposed to know what to do next?


A very common problem you've got there.  I hope this will help you.

When you begin writing a story, you make certain promises to your readers.  One is an emotional promise; the other is an intellectual promise.

For example, an emotional promise could be, "Read this story, and you'll be entertained... or scared... or thrilled... etc."  An intellectual promise would be something like, "Read this story, and you will view the world differently... or learn of a different world... or have your views of the world challenged... etc."

These promises carry throughout the story.  They are made in the beginning, developed in the middle, and fulfilled in the ending.

So... you've got your beginning, you said.  What do you do next?  The section immediately following the opening has two objectives:

1.  To add context to the opening (by reflecting upon it, or focusing on surrounding things)
2.  To lay the groundwork for what’s to come.

So you really need to be looking forward AND backward, staying true to your opening and working toward your ending.

Keep in mind as you move forward: What do people want?  All characters will want something.  Think of how each of them might go about attaining it. This should suggest scenes to you.

And remember that the purpose of the middle part of your story is to develop those promises you made at the beginning.  You do this by dramatizing incidents that increase conflict, reveal character, and establish all the various forces that will collide at the story’s climax.

This is, of course, just a rough idea of what you need to do.  I'd recommend getting yourself a good book on the subject of fiction writing in general.  Your local bookstore should have several.  Browse through them and see which ones seem to have the sort of content that would be most helpful to you.

Good luck as you progress!  

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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