complicating books?

Heyo people,

Just wanted to ask. how do you guys usually keep stories simple? I tend to overcomplicate a lot when I outline and then never end up finishing the book.

Any tips?


It’s hard to stay the course of a simple plot when at every corner there will be another unexpected character, with another unexpected backstory or personal quest…

The hard part is letting them pass you by and not getting drawn into their lives…

I’ve never managed to stay the course… But good luck!



Well for starters, I don’t outline, I just write and see where it takes me.
I know the story’s pacing is odd, but my stories have ALWAYS been first drafts that I haven’t edited or got to the editing stage.

So, I just write and move on.

I just think and allow myself to write based on what happened last and what I want to happen next.

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Personally I would recommend to make the actual story events and plot progression simple on the surface but make it so that the deeper a reader looks, the more complicated it gets.

I usually write a paragraph or two explaining what happens in each scene before I write a story.


If you’re able, try not to get too caught up with your outline. You don’t necessarily have to follow every single step the entire time and have things very specifically placed. You can mix them around based on what works best in the moment


@alenatenjo @NotARussianBot @Qualeshia12 @SecretDurham
thanks for the advice! i’ll consider it.


That’s what I try to use ONC for. Follow the big arcing plot, figure out what is absolutely necessary to get from a-b. Anything that will be necessary from 2ndary plots is filled in with minimal telling synopsis style paragraphs. I can go back in and write those parts later.


alright, i’ll see what I can do, thanks!

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Funny, I’m looking to complicate my plots because they tend to be too straightforward.

My advice? Don’t outline too extensively as it takes away from your natural ability to lead the story… or let your characters lead you.

I’ve personally found, in my quest to create a twisty plot, that the best aha moments come from when I’m writing the scenes that bring me the most excitement and then it’s like ‘oh! I can do x here and y there’. Similarly, you can naturally lead yourself through a simpler story.


this inspires me because i have about 3 diff stories i could begin but it’s hard for me because idk how to start. when i write i get overwhelmed that im not sure the entirety of everything yet. like for one of my books their coven sends them on a quest based off a legend. yet that legend isn’t entirely fleshed out yet. was thinking of havign it be like ‘oh its from childhood tales, so it’s told differently everywhere’ kind of thing until i figure it out later. but not sure how that would work

YES. i love on the spot things that take you to where you want to go! and in the end it works out so much better

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