When is it ok to add filler to a story?

Asked by: Brett Haynes

Can books have filler?

Story filler is unnecessary text that might come between two scenes that move the plot forward. It can take the form of a sentence, a paragraph, dialogue (both internal and external) or even a whole chapter.

Is filler a part of the main story?

The definition of filler is material that is not integral to the reader’s appreciation of the story’s meaning. It is material that is not part of a story arc, whether that is the overall plot, the main character’s growth, or the other throughlines.

Are filler chapters necessary?

There should be NO filler chapters. All chapters must be important to the story. Each should have at least one meaningful event — a change that sends the story in a new direction. Some of these will be related to the main plot, as characters make progress or hit obstacles to the goal (the arranged marriage).

How do you write a filler in a story?

It's giving yourself permission to have a character describe the setting for a whole page or go into deep personal backstory for three paragraphs you're writing it to essentially.

What is storytelling filler?

From our introduction today, we’ve established that filler content, or fluff, is an overindulgence that leads to a story padded with unnecessary content. Filler can appear anywhere: in plot arcs, in prose, in exposition and description, in dialogue, and even among a cast of characters and themes.

How do you write a filler scene?

Let’s see how to keep your story fresh and exciting in every scene.

  1. Trash It, If You Can. Your first choice should always be to get rid of any in-betweens that don’t advance your plot. …
  2. Introduce Personality: Make It about Character. …
  3. Introduce Action: Make It about Drama. …
  4. Introduce Questions: Make It about Suspense.
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How do you know what to cut from a story?

What To Cut From Your Book

  1. Unnecessary Exposition. Don’t just tell the reader what has happened. …
  2. Too Many Characters. Never have three characters when one would do just as well. …
  3. Redundant Descriptions. Never describe a place or object more than once in a story. …
  4. Author Intrusion. …
  5. Stuff You Can’t Bear To Cut.


How do you write a boring scene?

Pack Your Boring Scene With Conflict



Give each character something they want that conflicts with what someone else wants. Or, like Aaron Sorkin, give each character multiple things they want that are in conflict not only with other characters but with themselves as well.

How do you make scenes interesting?

Follow these tips to write a strong scene opener:

  1. Start with the setting. …
  2. Use visual imagery. …
  3. Drop the reader into the middle of the action. …
  4. Write a character-driven scene opener. …
  5. Summarize past events. …
  6. Introduce a plot twist. …
  7. Keep the purpose of the scene in mind. …
  8. Rewrite until you’ve found the perfect scene opening.

What makes a story gripping?

Your character needs to be driven – they can’t be passively waiting around for someone else to step up. Setting up your character’s goal allows the reader to more easily identify with them, even if they’re not as nice or moral. The conflict should start as a result of your character attempting to reach their goal.

Does every scene need conflict?

Every single scene in a novel must contain conflict. And that means you have to put it there. And you have to check your drafts scene by scene to make sure it’s there.

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How Long Should scenes be?

How long is a scene? Most scenes in most films will last one to three minutes, or approximate three pages of your script.

How do you know if a scene is too long?

Long Scenes

  1. Intentionally slow down the pace after lots of action or intense dialogue to allow the protagonist and the reader to digest what has happened, and to build new tension and suspense.
  2. Include a lot of big action in a given scene (fights, chases, explosions)—so the scene doesn’t hinge on action alone.

What is the 4 act structure?

Four-act structure, as previously mentioned, is broken into Act I, Act IIA, ActIIB, and Act III. Four-act structure centers its acts around key plot elements and events the protagonist experiences. The first act builds up to the call to adventure or the life changing event the protagonist experiences.

How many scenes are in a 100000 word novel?

So if we’re writing a 100,000-word novel, we’ll have about 50 scene/chapters in our novel.

How long should the climax of a book be?

Since the denouement is usually just one or two scenes long, the climax is usually very close to the end of a story, often the second to last or third to last scene (although sometimes longer denouements are required, leaving the climax further from the end).

How many parts should a novel have?

On average, most novels contain about a dozen chapters. But then, there are some that contain as many as 30-50 chapters. Some authors divide their story into parts –Part one, Part two, and so on– alongside the chapters. Again, this is to make the book, reader-friendly.

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How long is an outline for a book?

two pages

Too short or too long an outline is pretty much as bad as each other. An ideal length I’ve found for my outlines is two pages or around 1,000 words.

How many words should act 1 of a novel be?

20,000 words

So, here’s how we can break down each act into a target number of scenes–the: First Act (20,000 words / 1,500-word scenes) = about 14 scenes. Second Act (40,000 words / 1,500-word scenes) = about 28 scenes. Third Act (20,000 words / 1,500-word scenes) = about 14 scenes.

How many chapters should a book have?

Most nonfiction books have between 5 and 20 chapters. Any less than 5 and your chapters may be running long or may contain too many ideas. That said, there are plenty of books with 30 or 40 chapters. And some books, usually with very short chapters, can have 50+.

Should I outline my novel?

If you’re having trouble keeping timelines straight, thinking of small things to fill the chapters, or your story seems directionless, you might want to give outlining a try. “In order to write something big, it really helps me to think of the constituent parts.

Did Hemingway use outline?

The easiest way to implement Hemingway’s process is to assign reading days during the outline phase. If the book’s topic is complicated, consider stopping to read the full manuscript after each chapter is completed.

Can you write a story without planning?

Whether you normally outline or not, give writing without one a try right now. Take any story idea you have, or choose one from this master list, and write for fifteen minutes without planning or plotting. You can start with an idea for a character, a scene, or a setting.