I love my new adult paranormal WiP, DARK INTENT (excerpts here and here). Sometimes, the words flow from your fingertips and on to the keyboard. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for me. My muse and I haven’t exactly been getting along lately and I refuse to let it stop me. My word count is slow, but I like to think the progress I’ve made is quality over quantity. Although I have technically typed THE END on this manuscript, I don’t feel it’s agent ready yet.
Right now, I’m stuck on a new scene near the beginning. I already know where it starts and how it needs to end. I keep sitting down to write it, and ending up revising other sections of the manuscript instead. So, I contemplated the value of the new scene (another stalling technique – or is it?).
I asked myself things like:
- What’s the purpose of the scene?
- What’s kind of conflict is in this scene? How does it worsen things for my character?
- Or does it resolve a minor conflict from earlier chapters?
- Does it move the story forward?
- Does it reveal important information about the character, setting, plot?
- Which characters will make an appearance?
After I broke the scene down into parts, rather than trying to write the whole thing at once, I started making progress. I wrote one-word lines and the value I thought they would bring to the story.
Pain (worsen, reveal setting)
Embarrassment (external conflict, worsen, reveal character)
Escape? (physical conflict, forward progress, reveal plot)
Failure (physical/emotional conflict, backward progress, reveal plot)
Frustration (internal conflict, worsen, reveal character)
Iago (appearance – POV character)
Adele (appearance, forward progress)
Minor characters (appearance, external conflict, worsen)
Next, based on those words and values, I wrote sentences starting with the conflict I planned to introduce, how my characters would respond to it, what would result from their actions. Then, I looked at those sentences to find places where I could bring in sensory information (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) and considered how they might affect my characters’ actions/thoughts.
Before I knew it, words covered the blank page. Words I could revise, and edit, and sculpt into something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with my critique partners. I got unstuck!
Do you ever get stuck when writing? How do you deal with it?