Thursday, August 21, 2008

when the words won't come

I opened the YA wip I started last year and began to edit. I hoped that through a few tweaks, nips and tucks I could get the words flowing. Good plan, but it didn't work. I didn't come up with much new stuff to write and in fact, I got so stuck I sat and stared at the blinking cursor for more than a few minutes.

I've hit a wall with the Lani story in only 40 short pages. Last night I decided the story is starting in the wrong place. When I return to work on this piece, I will write a new beginning and see if that doesn't jump start my efforts.

I didn't anticipate this. Ick.


Timber Beast said...

The dreaded middle of the story doldrums. Can't see either shore of beginning or end. All writers go through that.

Anne Lamott says, "There are few experiences as depressing as that anxious barren state known as writer's block, where you sit staring at your blank page like a cadaver, feeling your mind congeal, feeling talent run down your leg and into your sock."

The only thing that I've heard helps is to write. Try writing the most mundane and banal stuff. If your character is stuck in a bedroom and is supposed to go to the store, have her carefully pull out every item of clothing, describe her putting on her shoes, etc. In the kitchen? Maybe she bakes a pie. Describe the flour being sifted.

Good luck.

Liz said...

Thanks for the advice. This story is an odd one. It has come to me in bits and pieces and trying to find a way to connect all the parts has been difficult.

Timber Beast said...

Been there, done that, own the clothing ensemble from the resort.

I listen to podcasts from Barnes and Nobles call "Meet the Writers" and one of the YA writers was saying he has his story outlined but sometimes has trouble getting a character from A to B. He's the one who said that he just starts writing things like, "He decided to make coffee. He got the tin down from the shelf...."

Just because we can play a few notes doesn't mean we can play a concerto. It takes time doing our scales. Practice. Write. Practice. Write.

Just write something that begins to take the character out to where she needs to be. Write now.

Timber Beast said...

This just came up:!&id=329604

It may be useful.

Liz said...

Excellent advice which I plan on taking today. By the time I got back to read your comments, the kids had begun to descend and the after school crush started.

Anonymous said...

Ask your story some opened ended questions. Like Who is Lani? Whats her deal? What does she like? Why does she like that? Who is her enemy? These really get the ball rolling for me and also opens the door to scenes I may want to use later!
Happy Writing