Tag Archives: writer’s block

Why Does my Creative Mojo Need a Kick in the Butt? AKA: What is Editing Block?

I am one of those annoying writers who NEVER experiences writer’s block. Yeah, I know. Go ahead and spit at me (I’m protected by an alien enhanced force field <AKA a computer monitor>)

But what I do experience once in a while is EDITING block. It is when you are reading your own story, and you hit a section and say, “This is unrealistic. This character wouldn’t do/say this right here.”

So, like a good author, you think it over.

This is when “editing block” comes in. You look at your outline and carefully placed scenes that support you character arcs and plot, and decide: “It has to be here to support the arc.” And let it go.

Arghhh! PictureI did this through 12 drafts of my current WIP. I had an important scene that had a pivotal even occur. After this pivotal event, the characters involved have a conversation about two topics. One topic was far too personal for them to have at this time. The other, although placed correctly to make the rest of the story work, seemed odd for them to talk about after the stressful pivotal event.

I knew this, but I did nothing about it, because I couldn’t figure out another way to do it.

Then I sent the novel out to my beta readers. I love/hate it when they tell me what I already know. In this case, the chapter wasn’t working. [Smacks head against keyboard] But for some odd reason, after the third person told me this, I had an epiphany.

For some odd reason, after the third person told me this, I had an epiphany.

It was a really long chapter. I could split it up into three shorter chapters, and spread the conversation out over a few days.

Yes, this sounds stupidly easy, but it didn’t occur to me early on. I needed that extra push of SOMEONE ELSE telling me it was bad, before I had the creative mojo to figure out how to fix it.

And guess what? Not only did it work, but the entire flow of the novel feels better. Total score!

Have you ever overlooked something your gut told you didn’t work, and then got smacked by a beta reader for it? Does this light a fire under your but to get it fixed?

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Have you ever lost interest in something you were writing?

I’m in a little bit of a rut.  I know I can easily write 1000 words a day (I only have about an hour a day to write) but for the past few days, I just can’t seem to do it.

For some of the time, it is because my thoughts keep straying to a different story that I want to write.  I KNOW that if I followed my muse I’d be spitting out 1000+ words an hour.  But if I did that, I know I probably would never get back to what I’m writing.

Is there anything wrong with what I’m writing?  No.  It’s just not “calling to me”—You know what I mean?

The funny thing is, I am around the bend of the “rising action” and I am staring my climax in the face.  Just two more scenes until I start blowing things up. Oh, Yes! This one will make the Little Blue Lady from Mars very happy!  It will make me happy… but I’m just “bored” in the process of getting there.

Is my story boring?  I don’t think so (of course no one has read more than the first 500 words during Sunday Snippets.)

I know, I know… set it aside for a while and follow my muse… but I can’t.  I’m writing to a deadline again.  I have only a few more weeks to finish, go to beta, revise and submit… and I’d like to give myself a little extra time in case they ask for a re-write before the deadline.

Ugh.

I think part of it is that I can’t motivate myself to start, and once I get the motivation, I only have about 25 minutes of writing time left… so I dump about 450 words on the page and then have to stop.  If I had more time in a sitting, I would probably be able to keep going.  I guess that’s the sob story of everyone with a full time job, and a part time job plus a family to take care of.

So what about you guys?  Have you ever tired of something you were writing when you were so close to the “good part?”

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Digging through the monotony of writer’s block. Yes! It can be done!

I was recently a ROW 80 sponsor.  This is a re-blog of the post I did for Row 80, in case some of you didn’t bop over there.  Enjoy!

So, how are we all doing?  Having trouble getting started?  Ugh!  I hate that too.

Personally, I don’t believe in writer’s block.  What you need is just a little inspiration.  Where do you find inspiration?  Well, anywhere.

A good solid writer can make a story out of anything.  You just need to take that first step forward.

But how do you take that step?

Did you see a billboard or magazine advertisement this morning?  Take the person in that picture and write about them.  Are you stuck in the middle of your novel and don’t know where to go?  Read on, my friend, read on…

Here is my method of getting started.  It has never failed me.  You need to start with a character or a setting.  Who or where does not matter.  Just start.

If it is a character, have them take a step.  If it is a scene, just show your reader where they are.  I am going to grab a name out of the air, and see what happens.  Okay?  John is the name.  Here we go:

“John shivered as the cool breeze slapped at his cheeks.  The walk ahead was long and hard, but he needed to make this journey.  More than anything else, he needed to find Geraldine.”

Now, I had no pre-conceived idea in my head when I started.  I just grabbed the name “John” out of the air, and added a setting element.  Within a few seconds, he was looking for someone named Geraldine… and that was completely unplanned.

Now, I just need to let the story “happen”.  The seeds have been planted.  John has to walk in the cold.  Where is he going?  Dunno, but I know it leads to Geraldine.  Isn’t that exciting?

The way I’ve use this method in the middle of a novel, is I take a character, have him sit outside a door, and actually write his thoughts as he figures out what he needs to do.  He doesn’t know what’s going to happen… you don’t know what’s going to happen either.  Just work it out together.

Now, you might not actually be able to use that 2-3 paragraphs that you write in that character’s POV, but just writing and “getting into their head” will start the creative juices flowing.

The important thing is to get words on the page.  Once they start flowing, you might be surprised how hard they are to stop.

Unfortunately, now I’m DYING to know more about John and Geraldine.  Ugh.  Another story begging to be written.

Good luck!