Trying to find the right story structure for your novel is kind of like being a drunken architect. You only have some idea of what you’re doing, but you’re too excited to step back and wonder if an entire floor made out of gummy bears is practical. It’s your creation—you initially get to decide where the story goes, and what happens when. This can be absolutely daunting, but there are some basic steps to take that won’t leave you locked out of your own creation because you said cotton candy keyholes were the next big thing.
When your personal and business life seem to gang up and rob you of your time and energy—while probably harvesting a couple organs while they’re at it—it can be difficult to tell yourself it’s okay to sit down and write. Not only does guilt get in the way, but you’re just too damn tired. Thankfully, it is possible to still get some writing done even when your calendars, celestial or otherwise, aren’t aligned.
More likely than not, you have received commentary from your teacher, peer readers, and colleagues that you are sounding repetitive. Already said in your essay that the Romans conquered Carthage? You bet that someone’s going to circle this in red, because everyone loves to prove they have eagle eyes. Most writers, therefore, are taught that repetition is a bad thing. However, this is not always true. There are some moments where it can have great impact on your story.