WHAT DOES HE FEEL? WHAT DOES HE DO?
First, figure out what is the next thing that happens in your story. This is the next beat, or the next plot point, as your protagonist struggles to achieve his or her goal or desire, and to avoid his or her problems. Usually, the protagonist will fail, and more than once, before the climax of a story. Write a short summary of the scene (1-2 sentences), like “Lucy falls into a well.” Second, write down a few notes about the setting for this scene. Where are we? What features of pieces of furniture jump out at your protagonist? What colors do you see? What do you smell? What time is it? What’s the weather like? Third, imagine the scene in your mind, like you are watching a movie. Take notes on what happens. A useful trick is to alternate what the character does with what the character feels, so for example: Lucy falls into a well Lucy finds a deserted well behind the farmhouse (cobwebs, rotting wood) Lucy feels curious Lucy drops a pebble in the well to see how deep it is (mossy brick edge). It doesn’t make a sound. Lucy feels excited and nervous. Lucy tries to drop a bigger rock and slips and falls down. Lucy feels terrified and guilty. Do you see how I’m alternating feelings and actions? You don’t need to be so orderly in the writing. The trick is to maintain a vivid, continuous world. Describe your settings, characters, and surrounding details. Use dialogue to develop your characters and move your story along. Keep the action going and the story moving. And read your work out loud as you go — it’s the best way to hear what’s working and what’s not. Finally, do all your writing in the same, safe place. Some of you yesterday had pages scattered all over the place. Either use the same notebook, or the same electronic file. If you are typing, I highly recommend working in Google drive, as its accessible anywhere and impossible to lose.