June Challenge: Managing the Uncooperative Story
1. Don't panic. I've learned (the hard way) that it's completely normal to get stuck. Writing a book is a process of getting stuck, unstuck, and then stuck again.
2. Walk away. Trying to squeeze blood from a rock never works. When I get frustrated, I set the story aside and then go stew for awhile. Actually I pout, but stew sounds so much more sophisticated and tortured-writerly than pout. Stewing/pouting also allows the story to sit and rise in the back of my head.
3. Don't panic (see number 1).
4. Make a list. If I'm dealing with a specific problem, I start making a list of all possible solutions. The list is all free-writing - I don't stop to edit, just write whatever comes to mind, no matter how silly or implausible it seems. Sometimes the list gets mightily long before I find the right answer, but it never fails.
5. Read. I like to read books that are in some way similar to the one I'm working on. It's not like I want to copy them, but when I get stuck inside my own head, studying how other writers handle similar subject matter helps to break me out of that. Plus, reading is fun!
6. Don't panic. Have a mentioned this before? Because, seriously.
7. Last, but not least: