Thursday, 17 March 2016

Writer's Block

Recently, I've been attempting (keyword: attempting) to continue with the second draft of the first book of The Gatekeeper Chronicles.
And it hasn't been going too well. I was hoping to get a second draft done by June, but that's not happening. I started out the year with about 17000 words and I've now got nearly 19000. 
Sherlock gifs are very appropriate for this post. And this one in particular.
I could come up with any number of reasons for this, I've had assignments to write for my Open University degree, I often didn't feel well and so on. 
But the truth is I've just been having some real trouble. Every time I sat down to write it, I'd end up cringing at every single word I'd written then deleting them. Nothing felt right. I regretted writing historical fantasy, writing a character with a concussion and literally everything. 
Me. Also, more Sherlock gifs. Yay!

So, I started avoiding it. I procrastinated on Pinterest. I started watching Man from UNCLE and Hornblower, as my last post stated. I started about three new stories. I read books. I read writing blogs. 
I did not, however, play the violin. Though I could. I also procrastinate that as well. 
I began to be almost afraid of opening up the document. And I hated it. 
Because I love this story. It's probably my favourite of all the ones I've written. I don't love any of my characters the way I do this bunch. I love writing it. I love the world. I love everything about it. And suddenly, I couldn't write it. 
I too become a murderous sociopath when I can't write.
And it was really starting to get to me. 
But then today, I opened up Scrivener and opened the document on an impulse. I started typing a few words, again groaning as I wrote them. Then I got an idea. 
You see, at the point that I was stuck, I was in the middle of an action scene that just wasn't happening. And there's this character that I was going to introduce later in the series. And I thought, well, try throwing him in. It might just solve the problem. 
And it did. 
This was basically me.
I realised that I'd been going about it all wrong. I was trying to force a fight scene that wasn't working, whilst also insisting to myself that this character shouldn't appear yet even though I had no idea when I was going to introduce him. 
But I put him in and suddenly everything made sense. I won't go into details, but I'm excited about this story for the first time in months. And it's the best. 
Me right now.
But what's the point of this post? What am I getting at here, you ask? 
Well, here's the thing. All us writers know what writing block is like. And we all know what it's like to not have that scene going right. We know what it's like to be lying awake at night desperately trying to puzzle out how to write it correctly. 
We are all Sherlock.

But tell me this, have you looked at it differently? Is there something that you're saving, either for the end of the novel or later in your book series that you could toss in there? Are your character motivations on point?
Mine weren't. I thought my characters were being chased by bad guys, but it turns out that nope! They were good guys. 
My characters are the 'he' in question.
It was very confusing. And surprising. But also awesome. (On the downside, I now have yet another side in the story's conflict to write about).
So, in summary, don't give up. Try thinking differently, throwing things in that you didn't plan (I'm looking at you, planners). Nothing's set in stone, just because it wasn't what you originally wanted doesn't mean that it won't make your story better as a whole. 
Anyway, that's all I wanted to say to you today. So, I say goodbye now!
And leave you with another Sherlock gif.
What do you mean, this has nothing to do with anything?

3 comments:

  1. I'm going through a similar phase, too. But thanks to your blog, I now know what to do. Thanks! Deb.

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    Replies
    1. Cool! I'm glad I could help. :)

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    2. Keep it up, you're doing great! Deb

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