Writing Yourself into a Corner


I write myself into corners, which should raise the stakes and add tension and drama to my story. The story moves forward based on what the character will do.

I found a way to weasel out of the corners, being the fantasy writer I am, I just use magic to get out of sticky situations. I take the easy road because I don’t like to see my characters struggle and must rescue them quickly. Because of my easy solution my plot gets weaker and the stakes that I had created are now zilch.

An example of my easy solution:
One of my WIP is a fantasy story about a powerful witch who uses magic to do her every whim. The world really is handed to her and her life is pretty easy when magic can easily change everything. I’ve been advised by my writers group to create a set of rules for my character and the world she lives in. This way she can’t easily use magic to get out of every situation she gets into.

Have you come across a similar issue in your own writing? How did you solve it?


3 thoughts on “Writing Yourself into a Corner

  1. You might want to have a look at “Writing about Magic”, Rayne Hall’s excellent boo on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/Writing-About-Magic-Writers-Craft-ebook/dp/B00CQWXSQI/

    My advice would be: make sure you’ve used the easy way out a couple of time, then have the witch try it a third time – only this time, for some reason or another it doesn’t work. This will delight readers (who hate omnipotent characters), as well as introduce the magical constraints naturally (when she finds out what went wrong).

    • lifewritermegan

      I’ll check out the book. Thanks!
      Your advice for my witch would go well with her character–always thinking she can have her way, but then suddenly not would infuriate her, thus showing her comical ugly side and adding conflict. Hmm back to my WIP.

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