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The Dreaded Chapter Three

Hi everyone!

Recently I wrote about “The End”. But how do you get there?

How do you get passed the road block?

So I have a lot of friends who write. I’ve spent some time discussing their process, technique, and writing style.

Each person I’ve talked to has said the same thing, and I have personally
experienced this as well: “I have a good idea for a story, but I can never
get passed chapter 3.”

It seems to be the kryptonite of writing. For some it may be chapter 5 or
chapter 2 even, but for those I’ve spoken with and the evidence of a drawer
of unfinished stories, chapter 3 seems to be the problematic one.

The reason I’ve found chapter 3 to be the issue-causer is because as the
author, you’re coming off of writing a solid 2 or 3 chapters full of
background. You’ve set the scene; you’ve given the details, but now what?
What happens next in the plotline that will keep readers interested but is
not the rising action or even climax just yet?

It’s tricky to find that happy medium. In my experience once I figure out
what it is I need to say the rest is smooth sailing and the words start
flowing in.
But that stupid one chapter always gets me.

It’s the point in my writing where I hit a wall. Then I begin to second
guess myself. Is this really worth writing? Is it good enough? Should I just
start over?

My advice for this situation is try, try again. If the first time you get
stuck at chapter 3 don’t just toss the story away. Either go back to the
beginning and really think about where you want it to go, or tuck it away
and revisit the story later. Whether it is a day later or a decade later,
never give up on a story line. Someday down the road you may just figure out
the words to get passed chapter 3 and give your characters a chance to tell
their story.

So take out an old story idea or a current one and sit down and really
decide what you want to happen. My goal is to make my stories feel like real
life. I want it to be relatable for my readers. So I usually (around chapter
3) think to myself, what would I do next in a typical day? And go from
there.

You need to have good balance and transition. If your first two chapters are
all background and slow you don’t want to jump right into an action sequence
the minute chapter 3 begins. You have to build up the story, work your way
there.

Keep writing! Whatever road block you hit don’t let it discourage you from
reaching the end.

If you need more help getting passed the dreaded chapter 3 let me know!
Tweet me @Nadetterae with the #Chapter3

~Nadette

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