You started out loving this story, the characters, and the world but then it went all downhill. The characters are only bickering and navel-gazing, they refuse to meet your eye, and quite frankly, you don’t even want to visit that sorry bunch anymore.
The joy went out. The excitement died. The story is floundering. You can hardly bear to open the file.
That’s story fatigue.
And it happens to authors. It happens to me, and I’m fairly sure it happens to you.
The good news is that it’s fixable.
The bad news is that it’s work.
You see, you get tired of a story if there is conflict missing. The characters are no longer motivated to do anything. They’ve become just as listless and depressed as any person who has lost their passion and the will to live.
And since you’re their god or goddess – it’s your job to light the fire under their asses.
Check in with them. Ask them again. What is the one thing they want in life? What would make them happy and content?
It may have changed since you started writing the story.
And maybe they just need a break and some fun before they can go on. Give it to them.
Then dig deeper. Figure out what’s stopping them from living their passion. What is in their way? Another character? An enemy? A trauma they have to overcome?
Invent something that really holds them back. Throw a big, huge obstacle in their way. Make it hard for them, make it almost impossible. And make them angry. Alternatively, make the antagonist angry and harass them so they get angry, too.
Because anger is one step up from depression, and it usually can make people move and do something. It’s a great motivator.
And you know what? Once your characters are moving again, thinking, acting, working hard – the story will be fun again.
What’s your favorite way of making characters angry?