Nothing even as tangible as a block

January 20, 2008 at 3:44 pm (Writing) (, , )

I have a problem.  The problem is this – nothing happens in my novel.  There is no plot.  There are no events.  The biggest event happens before the narrative starts.  It’s basically a long rumination on my main character’s feelings about an event that happened to someone else before the novel starts.  Three chapters, eleven thousand words in, my ‘protagonist’ has collected his wife from the hospital and made some coffee.

I need to get plotting!



  1. Clare said,

    I can sympathise with you on this one! Character-driven narrative is ace, but it can frustrating from a plotting point of view. Good luck 🙂

  2. wdp said,

    Hey, my sympathies. Plot’s always the hardest for me, too. You might want to try reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Her novel is about a character whose whole life has been driven by one event that happened to someone else, which her main character observed as a child. Nothing much happens to that character afterward, and nothing much happens to her in the novel beyond what led up to that memorable event. Yet, she makes a fascinating novel out of it because of her unusual use of time in the narrative and alternating perspective. Anyway, best wishes. –kayoungblog

  3. inkandkeys said,

    Ooh yes! I read the God of Small Things a long while ago – I shall re-read it in the name of research. Thanks for the tip.

  4. WritingMinion said,

    I’d suggest taking a look at Ordinary People (Judith Guest). Its a novel in which all the action has already happened, but the story (different from action) is about how the family heals (or doesn’t) after the tragic death of a beloved son and the sucide attempt of the other son. Its simple and beautiful.

  5. kayoung said,

    I happened to pass by again and wanted to say I think WritingMinion has a wonderful suggestion. (formerly signed in as wdp)

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