Many times, new writers fall into the trap of episodic writing. Episodic writing is when you write a number of scenes loosely tied together that don’t lead from one scene to the other. There’s no growth in the characters and no scenes building on each other leading the characters to the final conclusion.
Episodic writing is like episodes of a television show. They all involve the same characters and theme, but one episode doesn’t lead to another. Each show stands on its own.
Here are some ways to fix episodic writing:
Give your main character a goal. Your character should be working toward achieving a goal by the end of the novel.
Give your character obstacles. Obstacles should keep the main character from his goal.
Give your character weaknesses to overcome. Each character should have weaknesses that also cause obstacles.
At each obstacle, the character has to decide what to do to get rid of the obstacle. These decisions will be influenced by the character’s strengths and weaknesses. Each decision will lead to a result which will lead to another obstacle.
The action should determine the next step. Every victory should propel the character toward his goal and determine the next step. Every defeat should lead to another plan of attack.
Each scene should lead to the next scene. Delete any scene that doesn’t logically flow to the next one.
The character should go through a change throughout the story.