There are days when everything comes together from the moment you start typing. Other days, it never does. Day 21 was somewhere in the middle. It was a struggle for the first hour or so. Then, it was like a switch was thrown and the writing was easy.
It could have been that I went from writing dialogue to action. It could also be that my character was struggling in the early part of the writing and was battling in the latter. Whatever the reason, I ended the day with a decent word count and a couple scenes that I am happy with.
What to do when you’re struggling
We all hit moments when we are having difficulty finding the words. I’ve had my fair share and I’m sure you have too. What do the pros do when they are struggling? I’ve heard anecdotally, they write anyway. Their livelihood is dependent on them producing. They don’t have the luxury of not writing.
That all sounds good, but if words aren’t coming how do you force them? When it has happened to me in this particular book, I’ve shifted gears and written a different scene or I’ve worked on doing stream of consciousness plotting. Those two strategies have really helped.
The stream of consciousness has been particularly effective. I start writing what I want to happen, not as a story, but as a brain dump. That often provides me with enough fodder for multiple scenes as well as building up the back story of characters. (in terms of back story, I have actually used portions of that in the book).
Change of Scene(ry)
Moving to a different scene has also been very useful. This book was suffering from too many start/stops and not enough plotting for the past couple years. As you might imagine, I’ve had lots of different ideas for the book. Some are partially formed and others are almost complete scenes.
Because of that, I chose to write the book non-linearly. Write the scenes I’ve fully worked through and get to the partial scenes later. It has worked out pretty well so far.