Any writer that hasn’t read the book Hooked by Les Edgerton, really should. It’s a book that teaches how to write effective beginnings that draw readers in immediately, but it has a ton of insight into plotting the rest of the book if you’re looking for it.
One of the parts I found most helpful was his explaination of the difference between story-worthy problems and surface problems. The story-worthy problem is what changes the protagonists world and is deeply psychological while the surface problems are the series of events he’ll go through to reveal the SWP.
Relating this to my own story, I realized that I didn’t have a SWP. My characters went through a series of surface problems but there was no deep psychological change in them. Heavens above, how do I fix that? A whole lot of brainstorming, that’s how.
Basically, I’ve gone back to the beginning. I’ve been outlining and character sketching, plotting and scheming, cutting and pasting. And I think it’s going to pay off. I can’t wait to get my next round of readers to see what they think of this new version. I hope they’re hooked.