About a year ago, I wrote a messy fanfic. It was twenty short chapters and had no arcs, no plot, nothing. I hated it.
So I started an actual book. But after seven chapters, I stopped. I tried again and failed in the sixth. I tried again but stopped at two.
I’ve looked at these attempts, and I know why they didn’t work out.
The first one involved a moment of complete shock, where everything the MC knew was flipped. But I haven’t had an experience anything close to that, so the reactions were unrealistic. The second one had an arc where the MC was opening up to others. I’ve also never experienced anything like that, and so it felt forced. In the third, the MC finds he’s the chosen one, and I have no idea how to write that kind of revelation.
On all three, since I didn’t know how to write that kind of thing, I tended to rush and skip over most of the lead-up, which just made it worse.
How do other people find their way over this lack of experience? If I want to make a good story, I want character arcs, but I don’t know how to start them without feeling that they’re horrible and stopping it.