Look what I found for you. 5 Reasons Your Plot Stalled.
This is probably a good piece to read even if you're not stalled out on your plot. I, on the other am, would say that I am, to an extent.
I've got so many possibilities, so many characters, but I am stumped as to what my MC should do and in what direction he should take. It's probably because I started out slightly plotting and shifted into pantsing (and maybe because the series is one or two books too long, not sure on that yet.)
Anyway, it's a helpful read.
5 Reasons Your Plot Stalled
The plot is the engine of the story, and like any engine, it can stall. In most cases, the plot simply runs out of fuel and once you refill the story tank, the plot drives forward again. It's just a matter of figuring out which fuel your particular engine needs.
Maybe you're missing the goal (the common unleaded fuel of the story world), or there are no stakes, or no character motivation. The wrong characters might be filling the tank, or the protagonist is making the wrong choices. Refill the tank with the right mixture, and you'll be back on the road in no time.
Plot mechanics are pretty straightforward, so when a plot stalls, it's usually due to a small number of reasons. Let's take a look at the most common ones.
1. You Forgot What the Goal of the Scene (or the Book) Was
The lack of a scene goal is the number-one reason plots stall. There’s nothing for the protagonist to do to drive the plot forward. She doesn't want anything, isn't trying to stop anything, she's just living her day or performing random tasks that aren't leading to anything.
In some cases, the problem is bigger and the novel itself is lacking the goal. This is common with premises novels, where the idea isn't formed enough to create a solid plot, so there's nothing external for the protagonist to do. For example, a romance where the goal is to "find love again" is too vague to plot. It's the specifics of how the protagonist finds love, and the choices she makes to act in ways to achieve that goal that create the plot--such as, take up a hobby to meet potential partners.
How to restart the plot: Look at your scene and determine what the protagonist wants, and the reason that scene is in the novel. If you're not sure, ask:
• What does your protagonist want in the scene?
• How does this goal advance the plot to the next scene?
• What must be done to resolve the core conflict of the novel?
• What are the key steps to resolving the core conflict?
• Does the stalled scene contain one of those steps? Should it?
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