writing fluff

writing
discussion

#1

My greatest pitfall. I’m AWFUL about it, I’ll write like four chapters and then realize that NOTHING has moved the plot forward and duh of course I’m losing readers nothing’s happening!

Anybody else struggle with this? Advice is always welcome :blush:


#2

I used to struggle with this when I was younger, but now I don’t as much anymore because I plan the chapters out (sometimes thoroughly, sometimes not as much lol). c:


#3

Oof, me currently


#4

Fluff can still be a good novel, but I feel like that’s really all I write. Been trying harder with my new book High Class


#5

I’m the opposite, I can’t write fluff, we’d make a good pair.


#6

It’s fine if you write fluff. Hell, it’s not nothing but good practice.


#7

Maybe try to figure out what the actual overall conflict(s) are and how you want your character to develop along the way and really get to know who your characters are.


#8

I don’t struggle with it as much anymore, but every now and then, it creeps up on me and rots one of my chapters from the inside out. If I’m ever struggling with a scene, it’s usually because it’s fluffy and directionless. One usually effective workaround I’ve found is making sure that every character in every scene has a goal before they enter the scene. If the character doesn’t have a goal relating to that scene, the character shouldn’t be in that scene. A scene’s purpose and conflict comes from characters having goals that obstruct one another (i.e. one character trying to protect a secret, the other character trying to uncover it, etc.). Almost 99% of the time, if I’m writing and I get creatively blocked, it’s because my characters are interacting without purpose and passion.

Give characters goals. Make those goals conflict. The fluff should write itself out, with any luck!


#9

If planning and being aware doesn’t help switch to completing your story first (or at least large parts of it) instead of posting every chapter as in production - and then cut out of everything that adds nothing, and rework all the other problems. So basically do it like a “classic” novel.

You can still afterwards post it in some sort of chapter-by-chapter schedule while you write your next project. Maybe try it out with something small.


#10

Wow, it’s me :joy:

I personally love writing fluff, and so to avoid my entire story turning into a pile of plotlessness, I write little fluffy drabbles to give me my fix while keeping it super separate from the main work.

That being said, a little fluff can make a story fun!! :cloud: So don’t cut it all out; just sprinkle it in and don’t let it overwhelm the plot


#11

I do this when I am struggling to figure out where the plot is going. To get out of it I ask myself what can happen that WILL move the plot forward? Can my MC find something out? What can be revealed? Where is the conflict? How can I make everything worse?

Or I keep writing until something does actually happen and then I edit/cut the crud out of the 5 chapters I wrote in between. :slight_smile:


#12

The beginning of the story should always be setting things up. One big thing that needs to happen during the start is the set up of the central conflict. What’s going to be the main problem of the story? What’s the central question being asked throughout the story? It also helps to outline.


#13

True, I guess I’ve never thought of it that way!


#14

That’s awesome advice, thank you! You’re totally right–the fluff comes in when I’m trying to figure out both my characters and where the plot’s going.


#15

That would definitely be the wise thing to do–especially since I’m a slow writer as well. People get pretty frustrated with month-long breaks between chapters :joy: Thanks for the help! :blush:


#16

Write ahead and only post your second draft. In the meantime, do an editing run to cut what you really don’t need and shorten ‘fluff’ that contributes to productive things like character development. Even a once-through makes a huge difference.


#17

“How can I make everything worse” is definitley going to be my go to question :joy:
Thank you, that’s so helpful!


#18

Yeah… the writing ahead part is something I need to work on haha. I’m a slow writer so what I usually end up doing is finally getting around to writing something and then I post it right away because if I don’t then it’s double the wait time. Yikes.


#19

Oof. Yeah, it takes a bit of effort to set it up xP
Think, though. If you were three chapters ahead, you could finish a fourth chapter and post the first one in your buffer. That would keep the buffer the same length, while doing nothing to change your posting time.

The hard part is building up the buffer in the first place. But it saves my life at least. I’m a full book ahead of where I’m posting, so I’ve got enough chapters backed up to keep a weekly posting schedule on Wattpad without writing squat for half a year. And I’m a decently fast writer, but sometimes I can go months without actually getting writing time : P

How popular is the book? Or rather, who’s yelling at you for long wait times!


#20

My advice is honestly to shut your inner critic off. Why? Because it’s a first draft. Your first draft is supposed to suck. And by suck I mean it’s not supposed to be perfect. Yes, some people can write cleaner first drafts that others but they’re still almost always flawed.

So just go with it. If your gut wants to write that fluff, write that fluff. Don’t try to control the first draft too much and get it out there. The reason is the more you write, the better you’re going to get. You can’t get better if you don’t allow yourself to finish something and instead get in your own way.

I am my worst critic. If I allowed myself to stop any time I thought something was moving to slow, or something was awful, or any other negative thing I come up with I’d never finish anything. So get that first draft done then you can sit down and look at the whole picture. At that time you can analyze scenes that are too slow and see how you might be able to speed them up or remove them all together.

Some fluff is okay. It truly is. It’s only if you’re writing nothing but fluff that’s the problem but you really can’t know that until you see the whole picture.