Last night’s writing date was very successful…for every participant but me. Why? Because I had written myself into a wall. The very same wall in the very same story that I wrote myself into last time! I was going along quite happily, when WHAM! Wall! So I ditched the story for six months, pulled it out, viciously ripped the last three chapters out by the roots, and started over. I’ll take a different route! I’ll…WHAM! Wall!
This is what I learned from this experience: This character has to go. He’s the only character that I’ve ever deliberately placed in a story, but you know what? It isn’t working. RIP, Sprite. You’re adorable, heartbreaking, and you obviously belong elsewhere. Reed Taylor doesn’t need that kind of baggage. Sayonara, kid.
This is the other thing that I learned: When all hope is gone, and I’m ready to incinerate the story, I need to resort to outlining. I hate outlining with the heat of a thousand burning suns. But I also hate floundering in the middle of the story. The compromise? An extremely loose outline with index cards. That way I can lay them down on the floor, switch them around, throw them in the air like confetti or let my children gnaw on their edges. I get a general sense of where I need to be heading without losing the freedom of discovery. I like wiggle room. I also like to finish what I start, so it’s time to get forceful with this story. Demons, you are slain.
Oh gosh, I hope so. Please tell me you are slain.
I’ve been reading a couple of blogs where others have been struggling with the same thing. So what do you do when you’re stuck, but you’re not ready to toss the project? What gets you started? A dominatrix with a whip? Bribery? Unless a dominatrix with a whip is bribery? Also, how do you know when it’s time to lay a story to rest? If you could take a second to let me know, I’d appreciate it!
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