When you have an idea for a story, it can be a little tricky bulking it out enough to fill a novel.
The first thing you need to think is: Is this actually a novel-length idea?
- You could write a short story or novella as the story might not need 30-100 thousand words. If you try to write a novel based on a small idea, it will feel like it’s dragging, for the reader and you as the writer.
If you have a big idea but it still feels like it might come out a bit short, try to add more conflicts. A story with one or two big conflicts before the final huge conflict can be exciting and will certainly extend your work – this will also allow for more space to develop characters as you can see how they react and change in response to the conflicts.
Characterisation is always the best way to extend a story. Whether that be through conversations, thoughts, or actions, it will breathe life into your characters and make them both more believable and enjoyable to read.
In the end, when planning a story, you should not be focusing on word count. The story will decide when it is finished, not necessarily the writer. You could try to force it but then the story loses depth.
I hope this helps. If you have any suggestions of your own, or any questions, please let me know in the comments!