I begin a new project. It’s a novel. I’ve had the idea for a year it feels like and I’ve been tinkering with outlines and notes, but I’ve done no actual writing yet. No, not yet. I’ve had other projects to complete before I commit to this baby.
But now it’s time. I’ve been anticipating this — chomping at the cliched bit to get stuck into it, to let the story flow onto the page. I have some time away, so I use it. I write something like 2000 words the first day, and by the end of the week, I have five chapters finished…
It hits a wall, gets stuck in the mud, runs out of steam, and other hackneyed phrases (to quote a friend of mine). I can’t get past the opening words in a scene. I try writing another later scene. That too gets stuck. And another. And yet another.
The project, the draft, comes to a wheezing halt, less that a third complete. 31, 000 words of dribble going nowhere fast.
So. Now what?
This is when I’m thankful for three things: hindsight, the internet and great writing buddies.
I’ve been here before with all three of the novel manuscripts I’ve completed. This is familiar territory. And I got through it the last three times too; just took far too long to do it. This time I won’t beat myself up, spend months in procrastination, give up and start something shinier. This time I’ll work through this. Because this time, I have…
Because of the wonders of technology, I’m connected to hundreds of blogs and forums I can trawl for advice. Before long, I come across a gem of a post by author Joseph D’Lacey. Joseph was my mentor during a Mentoring Program and helped me shape the outline for this novel. It seems in absentia, he’s still helping. Great idea in this post. I use it and a couple of ideas shake loose.
But I’m not done finding solutions to my “writer’s block”. Oh, no. Because I also have…
Great Writing Buddies.
One of the mighty writies in my local Writers Circle (I think it was EJ) had the idea to write your first draft as a 90 page movie script. The benefit is that you quit worrying about how crappy your prose is, why the character’s not leaping off the page at you, etc, and just focus on action, dialog, and conflict. Great idea!
So that’s my next step. Document’s open, film treatment’s about to commence.
So. Now what? Now, I get back to writing.