Besides characters, you have to have story (Sorry, this is becoming quite a random ‘how to write a novel’ lesson!) and although your plot might be rocking along you have to remember story. I always think of plot as this is happening and this and shove in this because it’s really exciting and then I have to get my characters to this place and finally this will happen. But behind it all has to be story. Story is putting your character in a situation that they have to do something about which will change them (make them stronger, make them realise what life is really about – something like that) and them make things even worse so they are forced to make the choice and then stay with them until they see it through. Right now, in my novel, Brooklyn, my main character, has to make the decision which will take her to where I want her to go in the plot, but I have to make her situation so bad that she is forced to make the choice. People usually take the easy option and if I let Brooklyn do that I won’t be able to do the things in the plot I want so I have to force her. That will take care of the next few thousand words! So back to it. Things are about to get very, very scary.