Use Lists to Power through Your Novel

Three rules for generating options to fix problems with your plot

Anna Murray
Authorpreneurs

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Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash

The words are flowing. You feel the wind in your hair. Writing is a joy! Easy as riding a bicycle.

Then, suddenly, your front wheel goes in a pothole, and you fly over the handlebars.

This sensation is familiar to novel writers when we stumble upon a major flaw in our WIP (work in progress). Our first reaction is, naturally, that all hope is lost. The sensible thing to do is to chuck the entire production out the window. The Flaw irrevocably dooms the work.

Enter the List.

List-power is the act of creating a set of options to address The Flaw.

3 rules for creating a List

There are three rules for creating a List to solve plot flaws in your WIP.

  • Rule #1: No judging the quality of the items on the List.
  • Rule #2: Generate at least ten items.
  • Rule #3: Pick the item that has the greatest potential to link to something in your story.

Here here’s an example of how this works in real-fiction life.

The major flaw

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Anna Murray
Authorpreneurs

Tech expert, novelist, and essay writer with an ticklish funny bone. My novel, “Greedy Heart,” is First Best Book Finalist in the VIVIAN Awards.