How I Write Novels
What To Do When You Get Stuck Writing Your Novel (Part One)
1 Trick I’ve Used To Write 5 Novels
The first 100 pages of a book, once I figured out what it’s going to be, are usually a delicious time of writing. In fact, the time I spend flowing through them might be my favorite era in the writing of a book.
But invariably there’s a moment when I realize I’ve written myself into a corner and can’t really keep going. And I don’t always know why.
Now, since I’ve published five novels, I’m (kind of?) used to this (which is not the same thing as being okay with it!) and I recognize that “getting stuck” like this is part of my process.
In fact, I’m not actually stuck. And I can actually move forward and use what some might call “writer’s block” to reframe the stalled feeling I have, by reminding myself that the book is just talking to me in its own way.
What is the book saying?
The book is saying, “You don’t know enough. Get to know me better.”
This week, I’ll go into some of the strategies I use to deal with this frustrating realization. But before we get to them, it’s worth saying on its own that if and when this happens with a project of yours, it doesn’t mean that what you’ve written is bad. (I don’t even think it means you have writer’s block — a notion I don’t really believe in, if we’re being honest).
It simply means that the project you’re working on needs you to do a little more work to get to know it better, before you can move forward.
I might be a frustrating revelation. But I’ve learned that ultimately, this work only makes my books stronger.
If you’re struggling to look on the bright side, try to free yourself from the notion that physically writing is the only path toward writing a book. Thinking, scheming, planning, outlining, reframing — these are all important strategies in the path to finishing a novel.
What strategies do you use to reframe road blocks in your writing?