Writing tips from Ben Bova. Well worth a look.

Two of the more useful tips:

A fictional story consists of a character struggling to solve a problem. Nothing more. And nothing less.

In other words, you start out with a problem for the protagonist to solve. Do not solve that opening problem until you have created at least two more. Your story should be a chain of promises, a series of interlinked problems that the protagonist must solve.

I think my stories have often suffered from violating the second tip, where I haven’t given the characters enough problems and have solved them too soon, leaving them with twiddling their thumbs and drinking coffee for a while before the next problem arrives.

Also, the plan for the next week or so is to get Tartarus up for sale and finish the second draft of Horror Movie; I think it’s mostly there, but the ending still needs a rethink and there’s a lot of tidying to do before that.


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