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How Do I Make My Story Longer?

From time to time, I am asked for general strategies to make a manuscript or short story longer, without boring the reader.

The writers who ask this question aren’t trying just to increase the word count of their manuscript, but instead feel like their story is missing something. However, these writers aren’t sure how to coax the additional details from their story.

I usually suggest rereading your story with your readers in mind. As a reader, what am I likely to find interesting next? Are there opportunities for adding a bit more backstory to help your readers understand why a particular character makes a specific decision?

Look at your plot. Is there any missing time? How does a reader know what’s happened?

Is there an interesting character you’d like to spend more time with? Go ahead and do so…after all, it’s your story.

Finally, sometimes your story has just come to its natural end. If you feel that you’ve done all you can to improve your story, then it may be time to submit your manuscript to an editing service (such as the editing service here at WritAnon) or a set of beta readers to get their take on the story.

Editing services or beta readers can often help you find holes in your plot or identify opportunities to further explore an interesting character or concept.

What other ideas do you have to make your story longer, without making it boring? Comment below!

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