Six impossible things

Posts Tagged getting stuck

When they don’t wanna

One of the most frustrating things that happens to writers is having a batch of characters worked into just the right spot for the plot to take off…and discovering that they won’t do whatever is supposed to come next. When you want your characters to go left, and […]

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Decisions, decisions

A while back, I was talking with a young writer who was bogged down in mid-novel. The conversation went something like this (with names and plot points changed to protect the guilty): Writer: “I’m totally stuck. My characters are down in the ravine and I don’t know […]

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All writers are afraid of something at one point or another. We are afraid of looking foolish; we are afraid of rejection; we are afraid of overreaching, of not knowing how, of getting it wrong, of not being good enough. We’re afraid of being broke, being taken […]

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Where are you?

There’s an analogy that’s been around for a long time – I’ve been using it myself for years – comparing writing a novel to a long-distance road trip, usually at night. The comparison goes, in the car, you can only see as far as the headlights light […]

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Stressing Out

Sooner or later, everyone gets stressed, and stress affects everybody’s writing, one way or another. There are a few folks whose writing is their escape from stress, who write more when they get more stressed and less when they get happy, but that doesn’t seem to be […]

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Obsessive overbuilding

The flip side of forgetting about the implications of all the things one puts into one’s worldbuilding is becoming obsessed with getting every detail just so.  It  is a great way not to produce a lot of finished writing. Overbuilding an imaginary world is a problem that is […]

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Getting stuck, part II

I probably should have posted this first, if I was going to blog about getting stuck. Because one of the more important things a writer needs to do when they’re stuck, before trying to apply any of the techniques I was talking about, is to figure out […]

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Getting Stuck

I’ve been getting quite a few questions in the mailbag recently about writer’s block, and invariably they end with the anguished plea, “How do you know what happens next?” Which is a lot of the problem right there, in my opinion. Because “What happens next?” and “What […]

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Better or not?

One of the plagues of beginning writers is the feeling that they are doing something “wrong.” Not wrong in the sense of technique – messing up viewpoint, for instance – but that they have made, are making, or will make, a wrong decision about “what happens next.” They are […]

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