Your story has the basic plot and the chapters are fleshing themselves out perfectly. You keep moving forward and then after time you read your story back. Something is missing that you never noticed before. The images that were in your mind aren’t conveying across to what has been written down. You decide to flesh it out more. Adding sentences to transform your words into 3D pictures. You move on and realise that the next chapter is the same and you must add more to it also. You start rewriting each chapter and it’s starting to sound awesome. Rinse and repeat. When do you stop and say enough is enough? Well, thats simple, when the story is ready. Every writer will know when that is because the images in their head match the words they have written down.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it. Same goes for your story. Your story may be ok, but with each chapter pass, you can breathe more and more life into it by up-keeping your story. You’ll know when its ready, but that’s the thing, you need to know when to say that this story is just right. Enough is enough. This may happen on your second to third pass through or up to your twentieth. You’ll know when to move on, when the picture in your head matches your words.
This is the bulking stage and can be tedious as it’s not adding anything to the main plot. But a great chapter needs to be well-rounded. It has to from the perfect vision. If I said shut your eyes and say the first image that comes to mind ( anything you want ). You’ll explain the main point of the picture but you’ll need to describe that image to someone who can’t see it. So you add more detail. Each time you will add more and more detail until they see what you see. That’s the bulking stage. This stage is the time-consuming stage but is probably the most rewarding once done correctly. Next time you write something and go to re-read it. Stop. Go in with a blank canvas and see what images your words form…… do these images represent anything close to what you intended? If not, maybe its time to keep bulking it up.
Enjoy and good luck getting your story just right.