What To Do When You Have A Character, But No Plot


Having a main character but no plot is an all too common problem that causes many a headache. Stuck in this situation yourself? Here are some things you can try!



  • Write out a list of things that your character wouldn't want to have happen. Now make at least one of them happen. Make your character have to deal with it.
  • Write out a list of things your character wants to happen. Now make at least one of them happen, but make it happen in a way your character doesn't actually want. Make your character have to deal with it.
  • Write out a list of the daily struggles and problems your character deals with. Now, let your character get something that can ostensibly solve at least one of them. Come up with several ways that this thing can actually cause more problems, and let at least one of them happen. Make your character have to deal with what happens.
  • Write out a list of things your character wants. Now write out a list of things your character is uncomfortable, inexperienced, or otherwise bad with. Make your character have to face and deal with at least one item from the second list to get at least one item from the first list.
  • Write out a list of things your character relies on, yet takes for granted. Take one of them away from your character, and make your character deal with it.
  • Write out a list of ways that what your character does or is trying to do could go horribly wrong. Make at least one of them happen, and make your character have to deal with it.
  • Write out a list of things your character loves. Now have at least one of them get taken away. Make your character have to deal with this loss, whether that means finding a way to get it back or coming to terms with the fact it's gone.
  • Create a character who is in a few ways the opposite of your first character, and give both of them reasons to dislike each other. Now come up with a few situations that would cause problems for the both of them. Make them have to deal with at least one of them and overcome it together.
  • Combine any of the above ideas together!

Also, you might be interested in:

On Plot Structure & Plotting
Writing Better Prompts, Starters, & Beginnings: A Few Pointers
Plot & Story Development Questions
Genre, Plot, & Story Prompt Generators

How To Break Your Creative Blocks
Reasons Your Story Might Be Stuck - And How To Fix It
"Help! I'm Worried That My Idea Is Too Cliche!" - What To Do When This Happens
Tips For Writing Fanfiction With An OC Protagonist



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