Don’t be afraid to question your plot. Make sure every aspect of it makes sense. If the answers to your questions aren’t in there, think about them and add them. Give your plot depth and clarity. After all, if you don’t understand what is going on, you can’t expect your readers to. As the creator of the world that becomes your novel, it’s important for you to ask why.


Just because you think of a basic plot, that doesn’t mean you’ll instantly understand every aspect of what takes place over the next 80,000 words. Whether you are dealing with a murder or a trip to the moon, it’s important to know why what is happening is happening in the story. ‘Why?’ is of course a fundamental part of character motivation and we’ll go into that further in the next chapter.


But for the moment, imagine that your neighbour has painted his house pink. He’s a quiet man who never causes trouble: what’s he doing with a pink house in a sea of white and grey? Is it a cry for attention? Did he do it for a bet? You may never know, but asking this sort of question begins the process of looking for motivation.



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