Someone Throw Me a Ladder!: When You Write Yourself into a Corner

….Well, that in a nutshell is how Week Three went. I said last week that I was afraid my great momentum (two chapters a week!) was because that part of the story was well mapped out in my mind. I was, sadly, correct. Not that I have stopped writing! I’m still slogging along, but it’s a much slower pace. I’m now to a stage where I know what I want to happen after this section, but this section itself has become static…this forces me to sit down and plot out an outline.

I am not a big outline writer. I’m not sure just what sort of writer that makes me, and I really admire people who have the whole story lined up before they get started, but it just isn’t my style. For some reason, seeing the book laid out from start to finish feels stifling, and I end up not wanting to write. That’s not to say I don’t write any outlines at all, but the ones I write tend to be vague, just a series of steps that need to occur at some point before the story is over. It’s one shaky step up from a brainstorming page. But when get stuck (such as now) and I can’t seem to get beyond this section, I sit back down and start outlining.

The first thing I do is write a list of all the things that still need to happen. Then I start organizing them in a preferred chronological order. During this process I will also make side notes of interesting dialogue I could add, eat some chocolate, get myself a drink (the current writing-beverage-of-choice is iced tea) and stare at the words I wrote until something clicks. Sometimes this doesn’t take very long and I actually progress to writing the manuscript before the end of the day, and sometimes this is all I do. Week Three was a lot of outline-staring. Fortunately, I have a better idea of where I’m going now.

But first I need to go to the store and pick up more tea.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick Rapkoch
    Jul 11, 2011 @ 06:58:20

    You will make your summer goal, all you need is plenty of chocolates and ice tea.


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