A question I often ask myself – does a particular section ring true?
Sometimes it does, but not always. I think it boils down to the relationship between the writer and their story – i.e. does the writer fully believe in the story they’re telling? Or do they suspect that a story question doesn’t really work (but continue with it anyway)?
One way of testing an idea is to see how clearly you can visualise the details, especially in relation to the timing and the characters involved. Events have to occur in a logical framework, even those that arise from spontaneity or rash decision making. Character (individual motives, aspirations and fears) always determines plot, even when the overall emphasis is on plot. After all, a plot can’t exist without the characters driving the story forward.
Another issue concerns theme and purpose. What is the purpose of the scene in question? What point am I trying to make by including this section in the drama? Would the story work without the scene?
As a writer who writes every day, I ask myself these questions on a regular basis. I have found that writer’s block usually affects me when I don’t fully understand why I’m working on a scene.
Just a few of my thoughts.