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I am in the midst of a wholesale rewrite of my WIP Lara. I still strongly believe in the story but I also know it has some problems. I’ve considered cutting out sub-plots, expanding some sub-plots, and killing off a few characters. None of those tactics were quite the right thing. It was time to got back to the drawing board, literally.

The inimitable Pat Pennucci taught me about the narrative arch in the fourth grade. It still works. I found a big piece of paper, drew the classic tilted triangle shape,  and got out a fresh stack of post-its. I assigned each subplot a post-it color, wrote the point of each scene on a post-it, and laid them along the line. Soon, everything became clear. One entire subplot happened after the climax. That wasn’t going to work. I started moving the post-its around and the story was transformed. This exercise has re-taught me that sometimes, when you’re stuck, you just have to go back to the drawing board. Have you ever gone back to the drawing board? DId it help?

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