Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Writer's Block

Every writer suffers from it sometime--the almost desperate feeling that you have no idea where this project, be it novel, short story, non-fiction, even corporate report, is going, no idea how to push forward on it. The classic wisdom says "Write through it."
I've been stymed on the new novel I started.Wrote what I thought was a pretty good first chapter and then lost steam. I dealt with it by ignoring it. I could keep myself most busy with blogging, writing guest blogs, emails (suddenly people got long answers from me), Facebook, and reading. I thought about the novel a bit, with guilt, but kept busy. Last weekend I forced myself back to it, but Saturday was a day when I'd worked so hard by nine in the morning I was ready for a nap. Instead Jacob and I headed for Central Market and then met his folks at Smashburger's for a cheeseburger. End result: I was tired and full, and I was so sleepy when I sat down at the computer that I coiuld barely think. Still, I remembered "write through it" and I wrote. Later, after a nap, I realized that I had been just puting words on paper. They were lifeless and didn't get the story anywhere. Too much telling and explaining.
Sunday I started over and found some scenes flowed nicely--I was dealing with the delemma which with I had opened the novel, but I sure couldn't keep that ball in the air for another 60,000 words or more. Truth was, I had one idea but not a novel in mind.
Some of you may remember I dream vividly and frequently and usually remember those dreams. Last night I dreamt that I was a neighborhood activist. Some people wanted to move a development into a historic neighborhood and I was fighting it. Bad guys were threatening me, and in a bit of over-the-top drama planned to kidnap and murder me. I was out in the street, appealing for neighbors to help but none did., none believed me. Well, I don't think things will get that extreme in my novel, though maybe close. But there was my idea for Plot B.
Kelly, my protagonist (do read Skeleton in a Dead Space), is a realtor who rennovates Craftsman houses and is passionately dedicated to preserving historic neighborhoods. So what could be better than a developer who wants to put a big-box store on the lovingly restored main street of her neighborhood.  That's as far as I'm going with a spoiler.
Unfortunately today, what with car repairs--trips to the dealership and a body shop--plus a lunch date, then Jacob after school, and a dinner date, I haven't had time to develop the idea more in my mind. Still it's firmly fixed there and I hope to work on it in the next couple days--if not, over the weekend. I'm feeling good about writing again tonight. And all those distractions--dogs and cat, Jacob, friends--I wouldn't trade for them.

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