Sometimes a work of fiction doesn’t want to work, despite the writer’s best efforts and intentions. The world-building is proceeding apace, the descriptions are gelling, the dialogue is just flowing… but what about the story? This blog was called “Just Add Story” in part because that’s the part I have the most problem with when writing.
My current Work-In-Progress has a protagonist who doesn’t know he needs to do something. I’m discovering that that is a difficult place to write from. First he has to be convinced, in story, that there is a Noble Cause to commit his life to. And then he can Chase After It. But someone else needs to kick him along in the first part otherwise he’ll find a place to farm And That Will Be That.
I was reminded of the need for the hero to have a quest by Neil Gaiman. I started reading Stardust today. By the time I’m just 20% of the way in to the novel, the hero has a Quest and has set off to fulfil it.
I need to give my protagonist a quest to follow. And I need to give it to him earlier than I thought I would need to.