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  • P. Barrera

How to Keep Your Plot Fresh

Christmas has knocked the timing of this post out-of-wack, but next week we'll be back to our regular Tuesdays! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a Happy New Year!

Every story ever written is a little bit of a story told before it. This is just an inescapable fact. So how do you keep your story fresh, new, and exciting?

1. Write for Yourself.

My biggest rule when writing stories is to write something that I enjoy. Whether you're traditionally published or independent, you do your best work when you're engaged in your own story. To help keep your work fresh, make sure it's something you like to write about; that your characters are people you can spend a lot of time with!

2. Put New Twists on Old Stories.

What's more fun that Beauty and the Beast? A Beauty and the Beast where the Beast is a cyborg!

Put a new twist on something you love. This may sound like some sort of fan-fiction, but we see it all the time now-a-days. Don't be afraid to take something in the public domain and make it your own.

3. Know Where You're Going.

Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Where is your story going? Are you racing to the end without giving us a satisfying middle? Maybe that means your middle isn't what you thought it was, or your end for that matter. Plotting and outlining help a ton, so don't be afraid to toss around ideas until you find the thing that works!

4. If It's Boring, Throw in Some Action.

The greats (Tolkien and the like) seemed to have a way of waxing poetic that really worked for their audience. But today, a lot of readers just want the meat and potatoes. They don't want to wade through a lot of purple prose to get to something exciting. If you find yourself in a word-bog, throw in some action. Have your characters interact with the world you're spending so much time describing. This will breathe a bit of new life into your piece.

5. Above all, Enjoy What You're Doing!

If you're excited about your world, your reader will be too! It comes out in your writing. So enjoy what you're doing, because if you're not, then why are you doing it?

What are your ways of keeping your story fresh?

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