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Five Ways to Unstick a Story
- An action of the past catches up with the protagonist, and they have to work to clean up whatever they messed up.
- Your side character reveals that they have some misgivings about what’s going on right now. They don’t trust the protagonist not to hurt themselves. They just don’t trust the protagonist.
- Your protagonist doesn’t expect for a mental reaction to a previous experience to occur—but getting captured by the bad guys twice in a row can cause some mean traumatic responses.
- Something happy occurs! Your characters get to rest for a couple of pages and you get to elaborate on their relationships. This works great if you want to break the reader’s hearts later.
- Something bad occurs! Immediately! What are you going to do now that your protagonists worst (or second, or third worst) fear has happened? Guess that next part of your story has to get written—Quick!
- Someone dies.