Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Writer's Block

Once I hit 20k words I started a revision on the completed work by adding description and filling in story holes. Some story holes are accidental and others were purposefully left for me to fill in later. Now it's later and I'm stuck on a couple of scenes.

My usual solution is to move forward and worry about it later, but this is just a part that I won't like writing ever so I need to do it now. Any suggestions out there in blog-land?

9 tidbits:

Melanie Avila said...

I'm in the same place right now and you just have to force yourself. Think about it even when you're not writing and odds are a solution will come to you, you just have to keep it in your mind.

There's no easy solution (I'm not implying you're looking for one) but if you really are stuck, you could skip this section and come back later. No harm in that.

Anthony said...

I agree with Melanie: move on and circle back.

If you can. If this is a critical section of the plot--which absolutely needs fleshing out--then a break in the routine may be in order. Obviously, from reading your blog you are talented, so the block must be coming from a lack of something else. I am hesitant on giving out advice that works for me because I do not know if you have completed a prior manuscript before.

Forgive me if you have answered this somewhere else: is this your first novel? Is 20k where you are at presently?

Lauren said...

Melanie and Anthony-- thanks for the replies.

Melanie--solutions/suggestions/ideas are always welcome :)

Anthony--With the revisions that I've done thus far, I'm actually at about 25k (I recounted after lunch). I am calling it my first novel, but I wrote a 72k YA book when I was ~14 and was about 25k into a different book when my computer died and I lost all of it about five years ago. So I know that I can finish, but that *was* half my life ago.

I've always believed that if you have a block it's because something isn't right. However, this one is a bit different because I'm not that great at description and this scene is mostly description. I think that I'm going to try again tonight for about an hour and then move on if it's still not working.

Kiersten said...

I was just about to say, when I have a really hard time writing a scene, I usually realize it's because it's not necessary. But you already have that figured out ; )

Try to get it out there, but don't get stuck on it.

Also, hi ; )

Anthony said...

14! Wow! I think I was still picking my nose at 14.

When I have issues with description, I take a small break and read something very descriptive, like a Jack London novel, or even poetry by Robert Frost, etc. It gets the creative juices going.

Sometimes I growl at the manuscript. Another time, I printed the chapter out and literally sat on it as I wrote the next one.

I have no idea if that's what got me going, but it sure made me feel better.

Rachel Burton said...

I'm the wrong person to ask because I always revise the scenes I'm dreading the most dead-last! This go-round I didn't revise one scene until an agent requested a full and I absolutely had to. (I know, I broke the don't-query-till-it's perfect rule!)

Thanks for stopping by my blog - looking forward to more posts from a fellow Chicago writer. (ps - do you know of any good writing groups around here?)

Melanie Avila said...

Lauren, re your comment that you're blocked because it isn't right - I find I get stuck on a big scene when I'm worried I won't get it perfect. I know it's a pivotal scene and have an idea of how I want it to play out, but I don't think I can write it as well as it deserves, and I freeze up (or clean the house instead).

Christina said...

I'm in that same spot. I'm trying to write a 20,000 word story for an anthology and I'm about 15,000 into it and it just went bottom out on me.

Good Luck.

Lauren said...

Kiersten- Thanks for visiting :)

Rachel- I don't know of any writer's groups in the city. I've tried to start one in the past, but everyone flaked out.

Anthony- Thanks for the Jack London idea. That's a great suggestion. I think I am going to dig through my old books and pull one of his out for the weekend :)

Melanie- I think you are exactly right about being stuck because it has to be perfect. It's pretty close to the start of my book and very pivotal.

Christina- good luck with getting that last 25%...at least you can think that you are almost there :)

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