Sunday, September 25, 2011
see more dog and puppy pictures
Last week I got stuck in a scene.
It's not a thing that happens very often, which is good because it's frustrating. I'm not the world's fastest writer, but I do like to end the day with some sense of accomplishment, and that's hard to do when I'm constantly writing the same page—and sometimes the same sentence—over and over and over, deleting the whole thing and starting again...
What happened last week wasn't writer's block. I was still writing. It just wasn't getting me anywhere. It felt like I'd driven out onto the ice with the wrong sort of tires and was sitting there spinning my wheels.
Stubbornness kept me from jumping ahead to a new scene that might have been easier, partly because I don't like admitting defeat and partly because I knew it was only a matter of finding the right words, the right phrase, the right bit of dialogue...finding that one patch of grit that would give my wheels traction.
Experience has taught me the important thing for me to do is keep the car in drive. It's only by sitting there day after day at the keyboard and typing that I come unstuck, even if in the meantime I have to create and delete several pages of story.
Most of the time my subconscious is simply not happy with how I'm approaching the scene, or it's busily working on some other problem (I rather suspect that, most times, it's the latter, since when I get stuck I invariably end up getting lots of new ideas for a scene that happens later...) (sigh).
It's good to know the effort isn't wasted.
But I still confess I felt relieved when yesterday I finally wrote a sentence that felt right, and then another, and the whole entire story seemed to shift and creak and start to roll ahead again.
I'm curious to know if any other writers here get stuck, and if so, how they deal with it? And readers, have you ever come across a point in any book where you believe the writer got bogged down? I always wonder, as a writer, if those spinning wheels leave marks behind...
Come back Thursday, to read Julie's next post.