Arg! I Can’t Get Past This!

Novel Progress:

Nada. I took a few needed days off to enjoy the new Star Wars movie and then enthuse about it with my friends. SPOILER! Vader was Luke’s father. You think you know a guy…

Writing Advice: Digging Out of the Hole

Has this happened to you? You’re writing, chugging along at a good speed, then BAM! You hit a wall. You cannot progress further in the story. You had a great flow of ideas, then zilch. What happened?

In my case, when I hit a wall like that it means that I’ve written something that doesn’t work for the story, even if I am really happy with what I just wrote. Sometimes the only way out is to cut it out of the story, save it somewhere else, and see if that gets you back on track.

Deleting is as much a part of writing as is writing down the words.

I personally don’t believe that there is such thing as “writer’s block.” I certainly believe that sometimes I really don’t want to write, I don’t motivated to do so in the future, and sitting down and writing fills me with dread. I used to hate writing, but LOVED having written. I love writing now, but it wasn’t always the case.

I also believe that you can hit a roadblock with a project and just can’t see an escape.

So if you are stuck on a story, perhaps it’s because the place in the story where you are needs a re-think. Write your way around the problem. Perhaps write what happens later on in the story and then connect the dots at a future time. Or reassess the direction the story is going. Or just hack the bit off and rethink what happens.

Characters and plot reveal themselves during writing. Sometimes when you outline a work, the actual story itself veers off of the outline during the first draft. Sometimes you have to follow your characters and trust that they know what they are doing. Oddly enough, an author is not always in control of the story.

So relax. It’s okay if you get stuck. You can work around the problem or plow through. But you’ll get there if you work at it.

Or perhaps even take a small break. Schedule a week long vacation off that project and start another one. Your story will grow in your mind. It’s like having something stuck on the tip of your tongue. The best way to remember it is to not think about it.

I hope this helps! Been stuck in a story and can’t get out? Please share!