Blog

3 Ways to Add Depth to a Novel


By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund

 I recently received an email from a young writer, Theresa, who asked this question:

“My books come out more like short stories (under a hundred pages) rather than full books. Are there any tips or tricks that you can share with me about further developing the story line and characters to make my books longer?”

Thanks for a great question, Theresa!

Most of my adult novels are approximately 100,000 words in length (over 300 pages). As I thought about what I do to reach that amount, I came up with three main things.

1. Give the external plot more than one type of literary conflict.

Most writers develop their plot around some kind of external conflict usually involving a “bad guy” (also known as an antagonist or Man vs. Man). That’s all well and good. But there are other ways to bring about additional conflict: Man vs. Society, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Himself, Man vs. Technology. (Here’s a really great post that explains the “Big Five” types of literary conflict.)

I often try to have more than one of these types of conflict going throughout my physical plot. For example, my heroine in For Love & Honor is not only battling a creepy antagonist (Man vs. Man), but she’s also struggling against the community who thinks she’s a witch (Man vs. Society) as well as starvation and hardships from a castle siege (Man vs. Nature).

The more types of literary conflict we add to the physical plot, the more complex our story becomes.

2. Give your characters deep internal problems to work through.

Another way to add more layers to a story is by making our characters deeper, getting below their skin to the heart. We have to delve inside the real, raw, emotional issues and problems that our characters are going through.

A word of caution. This is more than just our characters expressing their reactions to the physical plot, which is important too. Of course they need to show and express appropriate feelings in regards to the antagonist.

However, an emotional plot is a bigger internal conflict that we weave throughout the entire story. This is usually a character flaw or problem like fear, pride, insecurity, etc. that is related to our character’s backstory.

For example, in For Love & Honor, the heroine is struggling with insecurity over a blemish that she’s been born with. This insecurity stems in part from her father’s rejection of her as a little girl for that blemish, which has made her feel bad about herself and believe that others will reject her too. Throughout the story, circumstances force the heroine to wrestle through this emotional issue. Her growth is part of her character arc—working through the insecurity and becoming a stronger person by the end of the story.

The more we intertwine this emotional plot with the physical, the fuller and richer our story will be and the better our readers connect with our characters.

3. Give the setting the respect it’s due.

Another way stories can lack depth is by overlooking setting and focusing too much on plot and characters.

Setting is hard to “get right.” Sometimes we err by not getting enough setting details, especially in our effort to develop a fast, page-turning plot. Sometimes we err by randomly tacking on setting details almost as an after-thought. And then sometimes, we even ramble on eloquently, but the purple prose usually only bores readers.

Instead, we want to give the setting the respect that it’s due and treat it as both part of the plot and as a character unto itself. To do so, we focus on descriptions and sensory details that relate to the moods and pace of the plot. When we do that, the setting comes alive, like another character that has needs and flaws and history that we can slowly and carefully develop.

When we view the setting as more than mere descriptions but as a living force within the story, then we’re usually able to add the appropriate details at the right times, keeping our readers grounded in the story but not overloading them.

My Summary: Obviously, there are lots of other ways to add substance to novels including varied subplots, additional character viewpoints, developing minor characters, creating more scenes, etc.

As we’re looking at increasing a novel’s length, we clearly don’t want to add more words just to reach an arbitrary word count goal. Rather we should make every word count for something.

What about YOU? How do you add depth to your stories? 

Now Available!

13 comments:

  1. CONTACT DR PERFECT TODAY VIA EMAIL solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com AND GET YOUR BROKEN MARRIAGE RESTORED BACK WITHIN 24 HOURS

    Hello everyone am Lucas Martinez from USA, after 15 years of marriage, me and my wife were living happily together we loved each other so much and I Loved my family they were my top priority, until one morning me and my wife had a little argument which I know every couples do have because there are no perfect couples in this world after the argument I went to work when I came home I couldn't find my wife and our kids she also packed her bags and that of the kids and left I tried calling her but I couldn't reach her I went to her friend's house but they couldn't tell me where to find her, I was frustrated I didn't know what to do I started drinking alcohol every day and night I stopped going to work it was a difficult thing for me because she and my kids means everything to me it's was like part of my body left me I couldn't function well, one day I was browsing on the Internet when I saw a testimony of someone testifying of a man called Dr Perfect and how he brought back his wife within 24 hours I didn't think twice about it I messaged him and told him everything that happened between me and my wife and he said he find my problem very easy for him to solve he also told me to trust him that my wife will come back and I told him I trust him and he asked for some information which I gave him, 24 hours later my wife came back home with the kids I was so surprised to see her it was like a dream to me she started crying and apologizing to me I told her it's okay I forgive her that am happy she is back we are now living happily together. If you are heart broken because your wife or husband left you email this powerful love spell caster called Dr Perfect via email

    solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com

    You can also message him on WhatsApp +(1)256-251-3614

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CONTACT DR PERFECT TODAY VIA EMAIL solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com AND GET YOUR BROKEN MARRIAGE RESTORED BACK WITHIN 24 HOURS

      Hello everyone am Lucas Martinez from USA, after 15 years of marriage, me and my wife were living happily together we loved each other so much and I Loved my family they were my top priority, until one morning me and my wife had a little argument which I know every couples do have because there are no perfect couples in this world after the argument I went to work when I came home I couldn't find my wife and our kids she also packed her bags and that of the kids and left I tried calling her but I couldn't reach her I went to her friend's house but they couldn't tell me where to find her, I was frustrated I didn't know what to do I started drinking alcohol every day and night I stopped going to work it was a difficult thing for me because she and my kids means everything to me it's was like part of my body left me I couldn't function well, one day I was browsing on the Internet when I saw a testimony of someone testifying of a man called Dr Perfect and how he brought back his wife within 24 hours I didn't think twice about it I messaged him and told him everything that happened between me and my wife and he said he find my problem very easy for him to solve he also told me to trust him that my wife will come back and I told him I trust him and he asked for some information which I gave him, 24 hours later my wife came back home with the kids I was so surprised to see her it was like a dream to me she started crying and apologizing to me I told her it's okay I forgive her that am happy she is back we are now living happily together. If you are heart broken because your wife or husband left you email this powerful love spell caster called Dr Perfect via email

      solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com

      You can also message him on WhatsApp +(1)256-251-3614

      Delete
    2. GET BACK YOUR EX FAST, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE FROM DIVORCE AND AMEND YOUR BROKEN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HELP OF DR GREAT CALL OR WHATSAPP +2348118829899

      Hello everyone i am happy to spread my testimony of a strong spell caster called Dr Great. I'm Kaitlyn Houston and i live in USA, my husband and i had a little fight because of that he wanted to divorce me i was so afraid to lose him because i love him very much so i search online for help and i saw alot of people's testimonies on how Dr Great help them and came out with positive results like Divorces, Cancers, lotteries, fertilities and others. So i emailed him and told him my problem and he told me what to do and I did it as he instructed, 24 hours later he told me he is done with the spell and my husband will no longer divorce me and when my husband came back from work he told me he won't divorce me anymore he said he didn't know what came over him that he is sorry I was so happy and I thank Dr Great for his help If you need Dr Great help email him at infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com my page https://kaitlynhouston19.blogspot.com you can also add him on WhatsApp +2348118829899 and he will put an end to your problem

      Delete
    3. WOW WOW WOW GREAT NEWS DOC I MADE THIS FOR YOU





      Hello everyone, am very happy to share this little awesome testimony about Dr olu a great herbal doctor who help me enlarge my penis size.3.2 cm to 8.3 cm longer with his herbal cream mixture, my girlfriend is now so amazed with the autonomous size of my penis , if you you are also in need of help on how to enlarge your penis to become bigger and stronger I adverse you to contact Dr on his email (drolusolutionhome@gmail.com) ) you or contact on whatsapp number +2348140654426 because he is one of the best herbal doctor that i can only show you up to, if your penis is 4.2 cm and want to get it reach 9.2 cm within three weeks i Dr olu is also specialized on obey m breast and boobs enlargement i advise you to contact him for help




      THANKS DOC FOR YOUR GOOD WORK

      Delete
  2. CONTACT DR PERFECT TODAY VIA EMAIL solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com AND GET YOUR BROKEN MARRIAGE RESTORED BACK WITHIN 24 HOURS

    Hello everyone am Lucas Martinez from USA, after 15 years of marriage, me and my wife were living happily together we loved each other so much and I Loved my family they were my top priority, until one morning me and my wife had a little argument which I know every couples do have because there are no perfect couples in this world after the argument I went to work when I came home I couldn't find my wife and our kids she also packed her bags and that of the kids and left I tried calling her but I couldn't reach her I went to her friend's house but they couldn't tell me where to find her, I was frustrated I didn't know what to do I started drinking alcohol every day and night I stopped going to work it was a difficult thing for me because she and my kids means everything to me it's was like part of my body left me I couldn't function well, one day I was browsing on the Internet when I saw a testimony of someone testifying of a man called Dr Perfect and how he brought back his wife within 24 hours I didn't think twice about it I messaged him and told him everything that happened between me and my wife and he said he find my problem very easy for him to solve he also told me to trust him that my wife will come back and I told him I trust him and he asked for some information which I gave him, 24 hours later my wife came back home with the kids I was so surprised to see her it was like a dream to me she started crying and apologizing to me I told her it's okay I forgive her that am happy she is back we are now living happily together. If you are heart broken because your wife or husband left you email this powerful love spell caster called Dr Perfect via email

    solutiontoallproblems1@gmail.com

    You can also message him on WhatsApp +1(256)-251-3614

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am Miss alisha,From USA. I will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also cant do with out there lover should please stop here and read up my story, So as you will know how to go solving or getting your ex back from this spell caster..AND AGAIN I WILL WANT TO ALSO TELL ALL THAT THIS SPELL CASTER I WILL WANT TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT IS HARMLESS AND DO NOT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECT, BUT TO RESTORE AND GIVE YOU BACK WHAT YOU DESERVE, COS WHEN I MEET WITH THIS SPELL CASTER THAT WAS INTRODUCED TO ME BY THE WIFE OF MY BOSS IN MY WORKING PLACE, HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE CAN CAST SPELL ON SO MANY OTHER PROBLEMS EXCEPT IN GETTING YOUR EX OR MAKING YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU MORE THAT WILL SUITE YOU. Last year December, My lover was cheating on me and was not also give me the attention that a man should give to a woman,And really that was troubling my mind and tearing my heart apart to the extent that i was not concentrating in the office the way i use to before the break up by my lover.And before that incident,I always see how my boss use to love his wife so much. I was bringing to think that i was not doing the right thing to him that will make him love me forever,So i really gathered my courage and went to my boss wife office to ask her the secret that made her husband love her so dearly,In the first place she refused in telling me,She asked me why i am asking her such a question,That if is it not normal for every man to love his wife.I told her the reason that made me ask her about this question,That my lover started cheating on me lately,When i knelt down before her for her to see my seriousness in this issue that i went to ask her,She opened up to me by telling me that i should not tell anybody about what she want to tell me,The wife to my boss started to say to me that she used a very powerful spell on his husband to love her,And the spell that she used is harmless, But the spell is just to make him love her and never to look for any other woman except her. I QUICKLY ASK HER HOW DID SHE GET TO KNOW THIS GREAT,POWER,DURABLE AND PERFECT WORK SPELL CASTER,she said that a friend of hers also introduce her to him. Then i also ask her how i can meet with this spell caster.SHE SAID EVERYTHING TO ME,THAT THE NAME OF THIS SPELL CASTER IS Dr.AZEN .My next question to her was how can i get this wonderful spell caster,She said she is going to give me the email of the spell caster for me to contact him for my problem,Really she gave to me this spell caster email:[azentemple@gmail.com]or what'sapp +2349038299828. and i contacted him and explained all to him,And after every thing that needed to be done by the spell caster, In the next two days, My lover that hated me so much came to house begging for forgiveness and i was so glad that i have finally gotten my heart desire..I was so grateful to this spell caster for what he has done for my life.. So i made a promise to him that i will always come

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello everyone i am Mudaf Kyle from MALARIA , i am here to give my testimony about a great spell caster called Dr OLU, I was heartbroken and disappointed because i had very small penis, not big enough to satisfy or pregnant a woman, i have been in so many relationship, but cut off because of my small penis situation, i have used so many product,drugs,vaccines,herbs which doctors prescribe for me, but none could offer me the help i searched for. one faithful day i saw some few comments on the internet about how this great specialist called Dr OLU has been helping men enlarge their penis size ,pregnant woman and last longer in bed and i decided to email him on his email i saw on the internet,(drolusolution@gmail.com) i also visited his website http://droluherbs.clan.su/ and also his you-tube page https://youtu.be/VMTo3gqbO08 so I decided to give his herbal product a try. i emailed him and he got back to me, he gave me some comforting words and steps to follow which i did with his herbal pills for Penis Enlargement, Within 1 week of it, i began to feel the enlargement of my penis, " and now it just 1 weeks of using his products my penis is about 10.5 inches longer in erection , and i had to settle out with my Ex girlfriend Stephanie, i was surprised when she opened her mouth and said that i almost killed her and she is satisfied with my sex and i have got a very Big penis now.
    Am so happy, thanks to Dr OLU I also learn that Dr OLU also help with
    penis enlargement
    weak erection
    erectile dysfunction
    breast pills and enlargement bums,
    pregnancy
    herpes cure
    diabetes type 1 / 2
    fat belly and swollen stomach
    Abortion
    malaria/lassar fever
    heart failure
    kidney problem
    human papiloma virus (HPV)
    tigthling and enlarging of vagina
    spell of all kinds(ex boyfriend/husband/girlfriend back,lottery spell,win a court case spell,job promotion or boom,marriage spell,breakup spells,cancel a divorce spell,Death spell and so many more

    so if you have any of this problem or other do not hesitate to contact Dr.OLU now for help on his email via (drolusolution@gmail.com or website http://droluherbs.clan.su/ [drolusolutionhome@gmail.com] or you can call him on his mobile number +2348140654426 .........for more information and advice contact my email mudafkyle@gmail.com THANKS

    ReplyDelete
  5. GET BACK YOUR EX FAST, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE FROM DIVORCE AND AMEND YOUR BROKEN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HELP OF DR GREAT CALL OR WHATSAPP +2348118829899

    Hello everyone i am happy to spread my testimony of a strong spell caster called Dr Great. I'm Kaitlyn Houston and i live in USA, my husband and i had a little fight because of that he wanted to divorce me i was so afraid to lose him because i love him very much so i search online for help and i saw alot of people's testimonies on how Dr Great help them and came out with positive results like Divorces, Cancers, lotteries, fertilities and others. So i emailed him and told him my problem and he told me what to do and I did it as he instructed, 24 hours later he told me he is done with the spell and my husband will no longer divorce me and when my husband came back from work he told me he won't divorce me anymore he said he didn't know what came over him that he is sorry I was so happy and I thank Dr Great for his help If you need Dr Great help email him at infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com my page https://kaitlynhouston19.blogspot.com you can also add him on WhatsApp +2348118829899 and he will put an end to your problem

    ReplyDelete
  6. GET BACK YOUR EX FAST, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE FROM DIVORCE AND AMEND YOUR BROKEN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HELP OF DR GREAT CALL OR WHATSAPP +2348118829899

    Hello everyone i am happy to spread my testimony of a strong spell caster called Dr Great. I'm Kaitlyn Houston and i live in USA, my husband and i had a little fight because of that he wanted to divorce me i was so afraid to lose him because i love him very much so i search online for help and i saw alot of people's testimonies on how Dr Great help them and came out with positive results like Divorces, Cancers, lotteries, fertilities and others. So i emailed him and told him my problem and he told me what to do and I did it as he instructed, 24 hours later he told me he is done with the spell and my husband will no longer divorce me and when my husband came back from work he told me he won't divorce me anymore he said he didn't know what came over him that he is sorry I was so happy and I thank Dr Great for his help If you need Dr Great help email him at infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com my page https://kaitlynhouston19.blogspot.com you can also add him on WhatsApp +2348118829899 and he will put an end to your problem

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW WOW WOW GREAT NEWS DOC I MADE THIS FOR YOU





    Hello everyone, am very happy to share this little awesome testimony about Dr olu a great herbal doctor who help me enlarge my penis size.3.2 cm to 8.3 cm longer with his herbal cream mixture, my girlfriend is now so amazed with the autonomous size of my penis , if you you are also in need of help on how to enlarge your penis to become bigger and stronger I adverse you to contact Dr on his email (drolusolutionhome@gmail.com) ) you or contact on whatsapp number +2348140654426 because he is one of the best herbal doctor that i can only show you up to, if your penis is 4.2 cm and want to get it reach 9.2 cm within three weeks i Dr olu is also specialized on obey m breast and boobs enlargement i advise you to contact him for help




    THANKS DOC FOR YOUR GOOD WORK

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello viewers around the Globe, I was despondent because i had a very small penis, about 2.5 inches soft and 4 inches hard not nice enough to satisfy a woman, i have been in so many relationship, but cut off because of my situation, i have used so many product which doctors for me, but none could offer me the help i searched for. i saw some few comments on the INTERNET about this specialist called Dr,OLU and decided to contact him on his email: Drolusolutinthome@gmail.com) so I decided to give his herbal product a try. i emailed him and he got back to me, he gave me some comforting words with his herbal pills for Penis Enlargement, Within 3 week of it, i began to feel the enlargement was surprised when she said that she is satisfied with my sex and i have got a large penis. Am so happy, thanks to Dr OLU I also learn that Dr OLU also help with Breast Enlargement Hips and Bums Enlargement etc.. If you are in any situation with a little Penis, weak ejaculation, small breast_hips_bums do get to Dr OLU now for help on his email (Drolusolutionhome@gmail.com) or add him on whatsapp line +2348140654426

    ReplyDelete
  9. The homepage really made it very convenient. 바둑이추천
    I want to exchange lots of information. Please visit once. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

© All the articles in this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without prior written consent from the author. You may quote without permission if you give proper credit and links. Thank you!