Just about every writer has found himself stalled at some point in his writing. It’s normal and nothing to really worry about. Inspiration always has a way of sparking the creative heart if a writer is patient. But, for a plot that is lagging and sagging, consider calling upon Mother Nature for a little boost. Shake up your novel’s plot with a quake. Or a flood. Or even an icy snow storm.
Read: Writing for a rainy day
By injecting a natural disaster into your book’s plot line, you not only can create a diversion and new direction for your characters, you can also provide metaphorical context and a compelling crescendo for the story’s much-anticipated climax.
For example, a raging fire or a steaming, sweltering summer heat wave can place your characters in jeopardy or bring them together for a common goal of survival. You can expose their flaws and spotlight their heroism. At the same time, such extreme conditions can mirror the novel’s theme of growing discontent or rising tempers, as Harper Lee did with her iconic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Write in a flood or a rumbling earthquake and you can wreak havoc in your characters’ stagnant lives, sending them reeling into a dangerous parts unknown. Their strange surroundings can lead to new circumstances where the narrative embraces new ideas, forms new relationships and calculates a new, surprise ending.
In the same way, a windy, blustery day can upend the plot and infuse sweeping change that will allow events to unfold in a thrilling and unexpected way. Events like these can demonstrate the novel’s theme of instability and change.
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Nature is a powerful force in real life, so it’s only fitting that it can provide a potent push in your novel’s world. What role does Mother Nature play in your current writing project? How could it help move your story along? How will your character’s be transformed in the telling?
Kerri S. Mabee