Monday, November 28, 2011

Writer's Crossroads

Three children had fallen into the crater of a volcano and I had no way to help them get out.

To make matters worse, they were my children, or they had been for the last few weeks and four chapters of my WIP, the fourth book in the Caribbean Adventure Series.

I was as stuck as they were, unable to move the adventure forward. I was suffering from the much discussed writer's block. Finally, after staring at the page for many more days, (dare I say weeks?) than I care to mention, I remembered a bit of advice about overcoming a block. That writer suggested that one solution to writer's block was to rewrite the scene, come at it from a different angle.

So, I, very reluctantly, took the kids back the way they came out of the volcano and took a second shot. It worked. This time they found a solution to that issue and moved forward to the next.

What techniques do you use to kick start your writing if it stalls?


Anonymous said...

I'm currently using NaNoWriMo to give one of my projects a much needed kick up the derrière.

G. B. Miller said...


Sometimes when I'm writing I'll be thinking about what needs to be done for my blog (three posts for the week), which usually interfers with what I'm writing because I'm concentrating more on the blog and less on the story.

Once I get that out of the way, then the road is usually free and clear to continue work on my latest project.

Charles Gramlich said...

I take long walks and let the ideas for the story marinate in my head. Sometimes it works.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why, but the first thing that always comes to my mind is a cheetah. Throw a cheetah into the mix and things immediately get more interesting. Imagine - the hero is trying to rescue the kidnapped child from the runaway train that's headed for a cliff. Can't get any worse, right? Wrong. He wasn't counting on a cheetah being on the train!

William Doonan

Carol Mitchell said...

William, I really wish that I could throw a cheetah in there, but as my books are based in the Caribbean, that would take quite a bit of explaining ... to the audience and to the kidnapper. :-)

Good luck with NaNoWriMo, Captain Black, I thought about doing it, but my schedule is too packed in November. Like G., I have many distractions from my writing.

Charles, I will give the walks a try sometime.

Jewel Amethyst said...

I work on something else in the meantime. Eventually I escape the rut.

Liane Spicer said...

I take a break. My subconscious continues to work on the problem and then suddenly when I'm doing the dishes or something the scene falls into place.

Must give that cheetah business a try some time...

KeVin K. said...

I find deadlines inspiring. Also bills. But that's when I'm writing for other people and there's a paycheque involved.

With my original work I'm leery of setting projects aside and focusing on other tasks to clear my head. I have way too many half novels and fractional short stories filed away.

Because I write through composting, I have usually thought a story through before I sit down to write. When I realize, as I sometimes do, that there's a problem I can't bulldoze through, I usually read nonfiction in some way related to my story. Learning new facts about the locale or other aspect can often spark new ideas or suggest ways to repurpose the ideas I already had.

Carol Mitchell said...

I agree with avoiding putting novels aside, Kevin. I have a few novels and stories half-finished for that very reason.