I chose to write on this most unluckiest of numbers to bring up a very painful subject, story failure.

You’ve spent hours outlining your basic plot. You’ve created characters to drive the story. You’ve agonized over the ending and the beginning and the middle. But after 15,000 words, the story is going nowhere. It’s uninspired. It’s boring. It’s tedious to read. And you feel defeated.

I know you want me to tell you that it’s okay. I know you want me to tell you that sometimes trying is enough. But I’m not.

This is YOUR story. This is YOUR world. Mountains rise when YOU make them. Seas boil at the stroke of YOUR pen. Grab hold of that story and wrangle it down! Don’t like the protagonist, kill her, or go back a few chapters and erase him altogether. Don’t like the premise, change it! YOU are the master of YOUR story.

But, if things aren’t going well, move your end chapter to right now and work on the fallout. Make a close friend into a secret agent for the big bad guy. Just don’t give up. C’mon, you’ve got this. Now get out there and make people fall in love then blow up a planet.

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