Thursday, July 23, 2009


I'll just say it: I'm stuck. I have no idea what to do at the point I've reached in the narrative. I could claim "writer's block," but I think "writer's block" is just another way of saying "no idea what to write." And me? I've got no idea what to write next.

I suppose I could be panicked about this, as I have a deadline that's only about five weeks away. But I'm not, because I know that somewhere in the back of my head a Truly Great Idea is forming. I'm positive, really I am. But in the mean while, I am stuck, and I don't enjoy it. I could work on some other part of the book while my subconscious solves my narrative problem for me, but that's not my way. No, I will pace around and give my story opprobrious looks until it tells me what it needs.

It's fine to be stuck. As long as, you know, I don't become unglued.


  1. Ah bummer. I hate it when I get the stuck. I'm the same way, too. I hate writing out of order.

    Threaten to kill off an important character. Might make the rebellious manuscript change its tune. :)

  2. Erin: What's funny is that I am actually thinking about killing one of my characters (or at least put his life in grave danger).

    I get stuck a lot, so I'm used to it. There always comes a moment when I see the solution to whatever problem I've created for myself (and, of course, it always looks so fucking obvious when I find it). I thought a lot about my story during lunch, and I think I'm this close to having an epiphany.

    But hey, you've begun work on Hound again. Looks like it's going well. Keep moving forward! I can't wait to buy a copy.

  3. I'm guessing you're not stuck, your character is stuck. Imagine what you would do in the character's situation, and then make the character do the opposite.

    If you would cry, make the character laugh. If you would run, make him stay and fight.

    Or you can write a bunch of random nouns and verbs on index cards, then throw them down the stairs into distinct piles and play "make a sentence.

  4. Rick: No, my character's not stuck; the narrator is. But I have buckled down and, since the Magical Idea isn't coming, I've written a plan of action for restructuring the chapter (which is what the problem was, one of narrative structure and organization). So I am not exactly inspired by heavenly muses, but I have begun to move forward.

  5. I love the last line about not coming unglued. You'll find your way through the stuck, I'm certain of it. :)

  6. Sorry to hear that you're stuck, Scott. Hope that by the time you get this comment you're unstuck. Have you tried writing the story from a different POV character just for fun? That always gives me good ideas.

  7. I'm not used to being stuck, so my present state sucks. Though, me too is beginning to move forward in a progressionary sort o' way.

    We must win!

  8. Nephs: Yeah, I keep expecting status reports, but I get nothing from you. What gives? Forward into the breach, as some English hack used to say.

    Don't tell anyone, but the main reason I've been putting off revisions? I'm enjoying being lazy. This weekend Mighty Reader and I made 44 jars of raspberry jam from fruit we picked by hand Saturday morning. Yesterday she baked a pie and I did a whole lot of nothing. Alas, that sort of slackerly life can't last for much longer. Tonight, I swear, I'm going to clear off my desk and get busy with some actual writing. I know now exactly what I want to do; it just sounds like work, you know?