Sunday, February 21, 2010

When it All Falls Apart

Ever been writing along, pretty as you please on a book, everything sounds good and works well, and the book is kicking some major ass....then you reach a certain page or scene and goes limp on you?

Yeah, I think that just happened to me. On all my books. Not just one, but every last freakin' one I'm working on lately. It's pretty damn sucky, too.

Most of the time, I just slog through all the mediocrity to get to the end. I know this is only a rough draft, so I'm not too worried about it in terms of overall product, but it's still a bit disheartening. The more "scaffolding" you put up as you write, the more you have to fill in later. I like to get my rough sounding pretty much like a finished project by the time I'm at the end. I'm one of those people who like to birth entire novels with very few fixes the first time out. Anything less and I become very frustrated. I know. Unrealistic. I just can't seem to help myself sometimes. Maybe it's because the story that's in my head is sometimes not the exact one that comes out on the page.

Especially when I'm going through a case of the pantsers.

Sometimes it happens. I'll know basically what I want to happen, but I don't outline. On novels this almost never happens to me. I'm a complusive outliner when it comes to novels. Not so much novellas. So when a novel starts to wander down its own path, or I'm writing so fast that there isn't time to outline, I get into scary, often weed-infested areas where I have a hard time recognizing the daisies from the dandilions. Or the Tin Man will suddenly look at me and say, "You don't suppose there are any wild animals here." And the Scarecrow will answer, "Only lions, and tigers, and bears."

It's a scary place to be.

So, enough of this. What do you do to get yourself unstuck from the weeds? I'm going to have a cup of tea, eat a peanut butter granola bar and hope for the best.

Happy Writing



Tierney O'Malley said...


I've been in numerous situations where I had to go back to my first chapter thinking that it would help me get unstuck in the middle or where ever it was I got stuck. I think it worked twice. The best solutions I found are: to start with a new story ( I have a story idea folder), walk to the library and borrow books from my fave historical romance authors. (Yes, I write contemp, but I read historical romances) OR watch a movie.

No to granola bar. Tea, yes. Mark would probably say, "Eat chocolates!" Or Alisha would say, "open a bottle of red wine." Hehehehh

Writing is a tough business, huh? Hey, congrats on your new release.


Mark Alders said...


That's all I'll say!



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