Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kickstarting a stalled story

I've recently had two WIP simply stall. Staring at the page, I couldn't even get a single new sentence on the page. Not a word would come on either of them. The characters in both of these stories really appeal to me and I can't wait to learn more about what's going to happen, but I haven't been able to write on those stories for two weeks. It's been driving me nuts. Luckily, it's not a full case of the dreaded WRITER'S BLOCK. I have been making good progress on another WIP in the meantime, but not being able to work on those two has been driving me nuts. There was something about the two stories that just stopped me cold whenever I opened up the files.

I tried everything I knew to jumpstart the story. I did a character interview, journaled and tried switching the POV of the scene I was writing. I even plotted out what should be happening in the chapter. Nothing worked, not even the walk away from it and leave it alone for a few days approach. That usually has the characters more than ready to talk. I just couldn't move the story forward. So I went back and reread. (I've been trying not to do this so much before I've finished because rereading sometimes leads to revising for me.)

Doing that, I finally figured out what had gone wrong and my subconscious was trying to tell me. (I just wish it would have told me without all of the frustration involved.) I'd pushed the story in a direction that didn't fit the characters or plot. One of them I had to take out a couple of chapters but I'm back to writing and I'm not frustrated. Do you have any interesting techniques for kicking your characters in the butt to get them moving again? I'd like to know because they might come in useful next time.

Oh and by the way, look for Primal Encounter coming October 28!

ebook,Ellora's Cave,shapeshifter


Amber Skyze said...

I was going to suggest rereading it. Glad you found a way to move forward.

Anny Cook said...

Yep. That's usually what I do--after letting it sit a minimum of two weeks. I find that sometimes I need some distance from the story so I can see what's really going on. When I reach that total STOP, I don't fight it. I just put it aside and work on something else.

Fran Lee said...

You must always listen to your characters when they protest the direction you are going. Hey...they have to live what you write! Mine had come off the page ans slapped me upside the head a few times...LOL!