Hi SEers! Denise here to talk about when a story hits some unexpected roadwork and comes grinding to a halt.

The ideas and words flow until that one day, and they don’t. It’s like riding in a convertible, watching the sunset on a warm summer evening. A cool breeze is blowing the story onto your computer screen or paper. Everything is right in your world until that one moment when you see a stop sign ahead, and everything suddenly stops.

I had this happen to me last fall. The idea came to me, and I jumped right into writing the story. Several pages in, I researched to ensure I was accurately writing about a real person. The problem was I had written an entire plot around what I assumed was correct but turned out to be false.

At that point, I had to stop and rethink the entire story. The reality didn’t fit into my fictional story. I set it aside to let it rest, hoping I’d devise a better plan. In the meantime, there is a lesson to be learned to do all my character research before I start the story.

Here are some suggestions if you hit a story roadblock:

  • Trying harder isn’t the solution. It isn’t working.
  • A change of scenery might help. Have you taken your laptop to a new location while writing? There might be a fresh perspective there.
  • Research. You may have to rewrite it, but it could give you ideas about where to go next.
  • Set it aside for now. Future eyes might have a different approach. This worked for me, which led me to number five.
  • Start again. I know it’s hard to give up all those beautifully written words, but sometimes it needs a new direction.
  • Rethink the story. Maybe you’ve missed an opportunity for a great twist or subplot.
  • Don’t force an idea that isn’t working for you. Give it some space, and you never know what you’ll come up with in the future.
  • Explore. Rethink your character’s motives and dive into their background deeper. Look at the theme and conflict. Is that the problem? Rethink the ending or beginning. There are a lot of possibilities once you are open to them.
  • Is the story being told through the right character?
  • Writing in the third person, can you change it to first? How are you narrating it?
  • Is the setting right for the story?
  • Try looking at it through the antagonist’s eyes if you’ve been writing through your protagonist or vice versa.
  • Move the time frame around. Can you change when things happen or why?
  • What are the stakes? Does someone die, lose their job, or a character’s feelings hurt? Make sure there is something to be lost—or gained.
  • Read a book. Maybe you need to read a good story to be inspired.

Each story is different and will require a personalized approach.

What about you? How do you handle those moments in your story when it just stops?

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *