Okay. I’m gonna quote Kurt Vonnegut for this because he’s a beautiful genius. Every quote in bold is his. Not mine.
Research. Lots of research. Though that can also be a bad thing. Cut back on the research.
Write. A lot. Write all the time. Even if it’s not just your story.
Just like on stage, your characters always need a purpose. A want. A direction. You can’t cross the stage in a play unless you have a reason to go over there. Even if it’s just pacing. So. You can’t make your characters go to this one place where they happen to find this one thing behind that other thing. Give them a reason to go over there and look behind that thing. (I’m really just saying to create reason and direction.)
Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
Some people are plot driven. Some are character driven. I am character driven so, quite literally, my characters dictate what goes on in my story. What happens, where they end up, and how it unfolds is very much up to them. I just write about what happens. I don’t create it. They do.
If you’re doing the Fools Journey than you might be working on a more plot driven basis. Where you need the fool to go to certain places and meet certain people.
Make sure you have a beginning middle and end. Like a roller coaster, we should be on our toes just before the very end. (Okay, so maybe you wouldn’t be on your toes if it were a REAL roller coaster. You might get decapitated or something.) Give the reader that feeling where you’re at the peak of the hill(?) and there’s no where to go but down. There is no turning back. Even if they wanted to get off the ride (or put the book down) it’s much too late and they just have to push onward until the end.
Alternate between chapters with tension, action, and conversation. The conversation being chapters where things are chill and laid back. Maybe it’s character development. Maybe it’s plot development. Tension is when the readers sense something coming. Or the Fool is preparing for something. Maybe one of the other major arcana tell him something he doesn’t want to hear, or something he is afraid to face. Then the action would be sorta a big deal. It doesn’t necessarily mean sword fights and life or death situations. (Death… hehe.) Action could just be him going after something something with an understanding and determination. Excitement. CONFLICT, PAIN, DRAMA!
Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
Don’t make any perfect characters. Perfection doesn’t exist. Not even in me. Sad, but true.
One last thing. This is your story. Your book. Love it. And I mean really love it. Don’t just take it on a few dates and flirt with it. Love your story.
And make it for you! And you only! Don’t write in a way that you think I’ll like. Or Mr. Professor Man will like. Write it so that you like it and are proud of it and it’s exactly the kind of thing you’d like to read in your spare time.
Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
I think that’s about it. I can’t think of anything else. Just maybe carry around a pen and something to write with (napkins work) so when you get inspired and gain a great idea, you can write it down and not forget it.
Here’s where I got the Kurt Vonnegut stuff…