Speedbo is at day 20.
Sometimes we hit the wall, that place where we either get stuck or become unsure of what the next step is. I've asked some of our friends of Seekerville to share what they do when they get stuck. We have 11 days left, so plan getting unstuck and pushing through to THE END!
"When I am stuck, brainstorming with other writers always helps get me unstuck! "
I watch fan vids on youtube. I don't even know most of these couples since I don't really watch TV. But there are tons of music videos with TV couples on their journey. I have friends who ship Castle and Beckett, Mulder and Scully, Oliver and Felicity, Killian and Emma, Donna and Harvey (who apparently had a VERY big 'I love you' moment in the finale). There's something about the power of music, with a relationship in fast-forward that reminds me of what I need to include in my hero's story: trust, kindness, danger, loyalty, honor, black moments, yearning and sweet confessions of love.
For a few examples of videos I think are fun, links below!
Matthew and Mary from Downtown Abbey and my favorite, Oliver and Felicity.
So, if you ever need a brain break in the wee small hours, check out a fan vid or two. The music and the emotions can surely get that muse back on track.--Virginia Munoz aka Mary Jane Hathaway
When I'm stuck, I fall back on a trick I learned many years ago at a First Saturday writing class held by Romantic Times. Roy Sorrell shared his tip that when he was stuck, he would go sit in a cafe with his legal pad (the days before iPads, tablets or even laptops) and at the top in HUGE letters he would write - I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WRITE. I don't know what happens in this scene. I don't...Maybe I could..
Whatever words you choose. It has never failed me yet because once the pen starts moving (or the fingers start hitting the keys) something triggers in the brain and ideas begin to flow.
When I'm stuck, I pull out my favorite old craft book and scan back through the key elements of story, plugging in MY story as I go. Almost always, I'll see some crucial element that has gotten left by the wayside. --Linda Goodnight
When I am stuck in my writing I make myself write something – anything. Usually, even if it’s just a simple sentence like, Jack ran. It gets my brain going. Why is he running, where is he running? What is he running from? Then I’m off and the words begin to come again. Sometimes I’m too easily stuck because I focus on the thousands of words I need, when just a few at a time will get me there.--Tammy Johnson
When I am stuck it's usually because I'm writing a very complex scene, an important scene that HAS to be done right. I can feel myself procrastinating when I should be going forward. I have learned to FORCE myself to write it, no matter how badly it's done, it's still DONE. And then I can go back and fix it. I call it, "Getting Down Off The Mountain" based on a lesson I learned writing Petticoat Ranch. --Mary Connealy
When I get stuck on my ms, I know it is because I have resolved a conflict too soon, or the conflict I set up wasn't strong enough to carry the story forward. My solution is to go back to the last place I was excited about the story, the last place that my interest was gripped and I knew where I was going, and see where I let my characters off the hook or ducked conflict, then ramp things up, be hard on my character and get the story back on track.--Erica Vetsch
When I'm stuck, I go back to my plotting notebook and read back over my characters' goals, motivations and conflicts. I also look back over my notes on my characters' wounds and the lies they tell themselves. This usually reminds me of the direction I had planned to go.
When I'm stuck on a plot point I do one of two things. I either take a walk preferably outside (that's not always possible in the area I live in!) or work on a hobby (this doesn't include reading). Both activities free up my conscious mind and let my sub-conscious go to work. Within an hour I usually have the solution to my stories problem! --Rose Ross Zediker
When I am stuck, I call up a friend and brainstorm over the phone about the story or in person. When I start talking about my story with someone, it often sparks an idea that gets me through my writer's block. --Margaret Daley
When I'm stuck on what to write next or how to fix a plot problem, I take a shower. This is an activity that I have done so many times, my mind is on auto-pilot, YET my brain is still constantly engaged with the activity. Somehow having my brain mindlessly working on something monotonous frees my plot bunnies. Other such activities are lawn mowing, hand-washing dishes, and driving. Plus, I'm stuck there for awhile which means I don't latch onto the first answer to my problem. I'm forced to ruminate on the what ifs for the duration of the activity and usually end up with a better idea than the first one that plopped in my head. --Melissa Jagears
When I'm stuck I jump to another project and immerse myself in someone else's story, and I find having a novella going on the side is perfect for this. That effectively cleans/clears my brain so when I go back to the S.T.U.C.K. spot, I re-read the last few pages, and then see where my trail should blaze/turn or bend! This has a two-fold effect: It gives me more words on a novella or proposal... And allows me time away from my WIP to refresh my brain. And usually, I realize then that I was drifting from the emotion of the scene, rather than letting the emotion guide the scene. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and this just shows that scientific theory can be applied to romance writing. It's all mathematical! --Ruth Logan Herne
When I'm stuck, I walk away and do something else. Letting my brain focus on a different task (laundry, dishes, gardening) frees it up to wander around until it finds a solution to the problem.--Mia Ross
My tip is for historical writers. Whenever I get stuck, I make sure to review my secondary research that covers whatever historical event/time period I'm writing about. Then I review old newspapers, census records, interviews as well. By that point, I usually discover a voice or historical tidbit to free me from my stuck place and I can go on. --Piper Huguley
I take a walk when I get stuck. The physical action of walking keeps the “busy” part of my brain occupied enough so that the creative part of my brain has freedom to fly.
When I am stuck on showing emotion, describing a character, a facial expression or a scene, I pull up pictures of the characters, the setting, or some aspect of the story I’m working on. Sometimes just looking at the pictures jump-starts my creativity. Here’s my Pinterest board for Meeting in the Middle, my novella With this Kiss Historical Collection.--Pam Hillman
When I'm stuck I pull out the old-fashion pen and paper and free write.
When I am stuck I take out my iPad or laptop and move to another part of the house and free write anything about the story with no rules or editing. Even if it's "I'm sick of these people and they're driving me nuts. Why can't they just...." and then sometimes things come to me. --Carolyne Aarsen
Okay, I admit it. I take a nap when I'm stuck. Sometimes I write a chapter, take a thirty minute nap and then write another chapter. I wrote seven thousand words last weekend doing this. It gives my brain a chance to come up with an idea without the constant mental pressure of my fingers hovering over the keyboard demanding productivity. --Tina Radcliffe
When I'm stuck I read what I've written to that point, which reminds me of the characters' goals, the conflict between the hero and heroine and their weaknesses and strengths. Usually that jump-starts my imagination and I can decide what needs to happen next. Plus reading what I've written boosts my morale, as I'm reminded that if I can write that much of the story, I can make it to the end. --Janet Dean
When I'm stuck, I go on a walk. Stepping away from the story can help generate ideas. My mind takes off running while my body is getting a gentle workout.
When I get stuck, I go back to the drawing board, which means I need to brainstorm. Sometimes hubby helps, especially if the problem isn't too extensive. By discussing the story with him, I often see what needs to be fixed. A major roadblock, however, requires lunch at Panera's with my trusty critique partner and Heartwarming author, Anna Adams. I lay out the story as I see it, and then we “what-if” it into shape. That back and forth, as we each throw out ideas, helps me identify the problem and come up with a solution.--Debby Giusti
While a synopsis is required to receive a contract with Love Inspired Books, I nevertheless find that in the actual writing of the manuscript I sometimes come to a screeching halt. How do I flesh out that one directional line I’d written in the synopsis into a scene with full-blown goal, motivation, conflict? When that happens, I find that I’ve likely taken a wrong turn somewhere, probably in the chapter before the point where I stalled out. So I print out a previous chapter or two and read through them to see if I can spot the snag—then when I’ve identified it, I brainstorm ideas for alternative options that will get the story rolling again. --Glynna Kaye
It's not surprising that several authors said similar things. These methods must work! So writers...what works for you. What doesn't? Which of these ideas sound promising?
And because it's Friday, I've got two extra special giveaways for two writers who say they want them! You do not have to be signed up for Speedbo to win these books.
|The entire series in one print book.|
See you at the finish line!