how do you stretch out your plot?/ writing personalities


#1

because mine are always lasting 10 3-5k words max and that’s it. i highkey wanna write like, 50-100 chapters.

i also feel like my characters like any unique personalities, because i’m always writing them to be likeable and understandable. is it better to write more unlikeable and maybe even annoying characters so their personality is distinguishable?


#2

I have the plot issue too. Usually, I gather multiple ideas, old & new, and see how I can make them fit in one story with more things happening in it.


#3

I set a word count that I want to reach (usually 84k). With that goal in mind, I calculate when certain major events need to happen: A needs to take place at the 1/4 point, B needs to happen halfway through, etc. With that in mind, I begin writing. When I start getting close to a major event too quickly, I realize I need to throw a wrench or something in there to stretch things out. Doing this has actually created some of my favorite scenes and plot twists. Just remember not to use fluff to stretch out the story. If it doesn’t add to the plot or characterization, it’s just filler and is probably unnecessary.

For characters, I definitely vote for giving them flaws. I’m a big fan of antiheroes. A character can be flawed and perhaps even border on antagonistic but still be someone your readers like and understand. Heck, the antagonist in my series does really horrible things, but I still love him (especially after writing his backstory).


#4

Subplots. That’s how people write full-length novels. Have smaller subplots throughout the story while the larger plot is still running. Like, your MC has to get to a treasure island, but in order to do so, they need a ship. Then they need a crew. Then they need provisions. So there you have three subplots; getting the ship, the crew and the provisions.

And writing characters is not about likeable or unlikeable. Sometimes people are likeable, sometimes they’re unlikeable. And so should your characters be. Nothing is ever just black and white in the real world, you know? Make your characters complex. Have them have strong opinions in certain areas. Make them have flaws. Maybe they’re super stubborn when it comes to cooking, so much that they throw a temper tantrum if things don’t go their way. But at the same time they’re super loyal and will do anything for their friends. You know what I mean?


#5

Think about your friends. You like your friends. Does this mean they are indistinguishable and all have the same personality? There’s more to character development than “likable” and “annoying”. There are mannerisms, speaking style, the way they dress, how they react to things, habits, etc. If the characters all feel the same, then perhaps they need to be fleshed out a little more.

My group of friends are all likable people, but would react to the same thing in different ways. Example: Someone asks us, “What do you think of Comic Con? Are you going?” (Names have been changed to protect identities.)

Me: When is that again? I need to know when to avoid those crowds. Ugh.

Jennifer: Oh my god, it’s SO fun! I can’t wait to go again! We go every year. Did you know that one actress in that one movie will be in a panel? I’m so excited!!

Mary: (with a tired sigh) My kids have soccer that weekend. Sound like fun though.

Tom: My costume is almost complete. I just need to find the right sized pipe to attach to the thingamajiggy. Then all I need to do is connect the whatchamacallit to the doohickey, plug in the battery, and–are you still listening?

Think about your characters as real people before sticking them into scenes. Channel the personalities of people you know, if it helps. I have a few more tips in a chapter I wrote called “Create Relatable Characters”: https://www.wattpad.com/322953960-how-to-write-stories-people-will-love-4-create


#6

Well first you need a stretching cloth, and then follow the repetition and times your doctor tells you.

In all seriousness, I just let the story flow how it will.


#7

I first start out with the main idea: what is the story about?

One of the reasons why my stories tend to stretch a little farther is because of the many different things my characters do to help stretch it out. Right now, it sounds like I just add in unnecessary stuff, but I don’t (well… I hope I don’t).

For example, in my previous story, the main idea was how my character was visiting Rome for the first time for two weeks with her sisters. So it stretches out because they do go sight-seeing and being tourists. A lot of the chapters are where they go out on adventures.

The next thing to think about are the subplots: what else happens in the story? And how does it delay their goals?

Subplots can be anything from a mixture of genres to various ideas that are held in the genre you’re writing in. For example, if you’re writing a romance, you can add in paranormal, fantasy, or science fiction elements to it. Or, if you’re writing a romance, you can add in romantic drama (like say a love square (like a love triangle) or something of that sort). This will also help you write conflict and ways that can help delay their goals.

If you’re writing a teen fiction and your character is about to go confess their love to their best friend, you can make them get into a car crash as they’re driving to their house. Boom! That adds a delay. If you’re writing a story where the characters have a disagreement, you can have them do what everyone else told them not to do and have everything blow up in their face. Boom! There’s a detour to their goals.

You’re basically trying to take a detour in the plot, which will take longer to complete. And, not to mention, you just have to be creative with it. :wink:

So back to my story, there are two main subplots: a romance and family drama. While my character is visiting Italy, she meets one of her favorite authors and they soon get into a relationship. So that adds to the story. However, there is conflict in the romance which makes us take a break from that “relationship goal.” And, while everything else is going on, she has fights with her sisters. She isn’t very close to her older sister, but in the story, she learns more about her than she ever knew, which draws in that sisterly love.

Overall, you can also add in backstories and baggage that catch up to your characters. For instance, I once read a story where the love interest had a secret and eventually, he ended up facing it head on. The secret was later said that he got into a car crash and killed his best friend’s brother, and felt guilty the entire time. And it caught up to him because he ran away to a secret hide-out to be alone for a few days (I think it was like every few months; his parents knew where he was as well) and his friend confronted him. It was like a huge twist in the story.

Also, you don’t have to write 50-100 chapters. Some stories are just shorter than others. I once read a book that had thirteen chapters. And I’m currently reading a book that doesn’t really have chapters (it’s like separated by specific scenes). For example, the first “chapter” was 99 pages long. xD

Characters don’t have to be likable. They just have to be relatable. If you make them relatable, then you’ll have readers who would like them (or not, depending on the reader). All in all, make them human. And once you do that, you’d realize that not everyone is perfect; not everyone is likable or understandable. :wink:


#8

The way hope I do it is probably the norm (I’m not entirely sure, but we’ll see).

I usually have a main plot then add a number of subplots. I plan each chapter with an intent in mind which can be linked to the main plot as well as a number of sub plots with the use of character development and conflict. In doing so, you help propel the story forwards.

The only issue is to keep in mind is the pacing as that’s extremely important. Since I’m a planster, I do plan everything, but leave leeway for the finer points. hat allows the characters to breathe on their own and push the plot/sub plot, which in turn can fill out the story, and also stretch it out where need be. Having multiple conflicts helps with this, but it depends on how many characters you have in your story


#10

The idea of the sub plots are very similar to what I’ve recently done. And yes, I agree, you need to plan everything for that. It’s not easy either…


#12

I’ve been thinking over the answer again, and in truth often the plot just kind of happens. Though characters are important, for me depicting society is important do the nature of my genre. And so often times I might abruptly switch between characters if the story is in third person. Even if that means venturing into third person omniscient.

For example, in one of my current stories, while it’s set in a world where Vampires and Cybernetics become increasingly blurry, it’s really about the nature of minority status, and how it effects job opportunities in the South.

In this case, Vampire is a minority group.

In other words, sometimes things seem like different parts of the plot, but I’m simply depicting a different portion of society.


#13

it does depend on the complexity of what you want to do as well I suppose. I myself found it alright and stuck with the plan. At times it can be tedious though… but that’s all part of the grind :slight_smile:


#15

Exactly. The challenge is hella fun though. I’ve enjoyed it so far :slight_smile:

But for a next project, I’ll do something a bit easier for I need a break from it lol


#17

Yeah, it can manifest to a writer’s block, but having time to chill out helps a lot.

I write Dark Fantasy and Horror with a splash of Paranormal. I’ve have 1 Novella and 1 book up on Wattpad at the moment, and am working on the second book of the trilogy I’m wanting to do this year.

What about you? What genre do you write?


#19

Kewl. Mystery Thrillers are always fun to read.

And yes, they can be very demanding… but it’s a lot of fun :slight_smile:


#21

I’ve been very close to flipping tables, especially in a few big scenes, but it was totally worth it :slight_smile:


#23

Writers wise, not really to be honest. I have been influenced by modern horror films and horror manga mainly. Berserk is a huge influence with character development, which I do enjoy the love/hate relationships you have with those characters considering at the end of the day, there’s no distinct line between good and evil. They’re all characters that have their own dreams and aspirations who strive to obtain their goal.

Stephen King would probably be a bit of an inspiration I guess. And Brian Jacques, but that’s a completely different genre altogether to what I write lol


#25

Brian Jacques writes the Redwall series. It’s like LOTR’s, but with mice, rats and badgers etc, going on adventures and having battles etc. It’s a very well written series with a lot of lore. And it does get quite dark at times too :slight_smile: