Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting Unstuck

Once in awhile writers can get stuck at a certain point of their story that prevents them from moving past that point. This might happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps, you’ve discovered some plot problems that need to be fleshed out further. Maybe the characters you’ve written are developing in an unexpected way that requires you to rethink a few things. You might simply be running low on ideas. A lot of times it simply comes down to the fact that you’re not sure what direction to take the story next. This can happen even if you’ve created a detailed outline of your story, requiring you to rethink or revise your outline.

Reworking or further developing my outline is often one of the first things that I do when I get stuck like this. But to do that often requires the acquisition of fresh ideas. So, if a quick fix of the outline isn’t sufficient, I usually do one of two things, or both—more research and brainstorming. Sometimes, it’ll just take a few hours of these activities, other times it can take days, weeks or months. But the longer it takes the more frustrating it can get, especially if I’ve already spent months or years developing the ideas and plots for a story. Once I dig into a story, I don’t like getting stuck. I just want to write.

In the next few days, I’ll talk a little about some of my favorite research and brainstorming tools that I use to get unstuck so I can resume the writing process.

1 comment:

  1. I am also a children's author and I was stuck at a certain point in my first novel for almost five years. Unbelievable I know! I simply could not sleep one night and decided to have another look at it and finished it in the one night. Of course it took another six months of editing but I really felt I crossed a major hurdle. Now I am finding the ideas flow much more easily and it is rare that I get stuck.

    -Marnie Lester-