Tuesday, June 30, 2009
THE QUICKSAND IN NOVELS
"I have a great story, but I just can't seem to finish! In the middle, I get stuck!" I hear this all the time from students when I visit schools! But let me tell you a secret. . . . . . . .All authors have difficulty at one point or another while working on a story. Just like you, we get stuck!
So here are some things to do when you are at the point when you feel like you are caught in a sticky mire of sucking-you-under quicksand!
1. Go do something fun. Take in a movie. Read a book. Watch some TV. Visit with friends. Guess what? A writer's sub-conscious is still working while you are just hanging out. A lot of times after I've seen a movie, the way to continue my novel will have popped into my head. And I'll be ready to sit back down with my computer and my story.
2. Try outlining. Writing down on paper where you are headed can sometimes help you fill in all those gaps that are driving you crazy. (And you thought all those hours spent outlining with your teachers were a waste!)
3. And lastly, when your muse has fled, sometimes you will just have to just power through. Like a marathon runner who feels like giving up in the middle of the race, you may have to push through the difficult times. Sit down and just make yourself write. Set a word limit for yourself and then make yourself write until you've reached that goal. Don't worry if it's not perfect. You can always change it later. But the act of writing will sometimes help you get your muse back, and let you finish your story in triumph.
On a last note, my blog may be a bit inconsistent over the summer. I apologize but I will be spending time doing my own writing at a cabin by a lake without the benefit of the internet. I hope you all have an amazing summer!