I hit a huge wall. And it was not fun.
I think post-inciting incident is my sweet spot for disaster. The day nano started, I sat down at the keyboard and stared at the letters, at the waiting word document full of words that needed editing.
And I couldn't write a thing.
Three days in, I had a little over 1k.
That's not normal for me. I usually write quickly.
I was forced to admit the sad truth that I'd naively hoped wouldn't prove to be with my precious new baby, The Dream Walkers. It had been so nice to me so far.
But no. I'd hit a wall.
What to do? I've set a goal of 40k words to edit (now at 35k, possibly going down to 30k). I want to finish this draft before June. And, above all, I do NOT want to have another "TC" disaster. I will not spend a year on this draft. I can't. Not again.
I needed to break this wall. I needed to get a huge hammer and smash into it with all the power of a steam train. But how?
The first step was figuring out why I'd hit the wall. You can't really break something until you understand how it's built.
There are two main elements to what created my wall.
PROBLEM 1: FEAR
On top of all that, I'm sending this draft to betas. Therefore, draft two must be perfect.
What do you think betas are there for? I know it can't be perfect yet, but that's the thing that was not allowing me to write at all. I needed to throw the words out. To force them onto the page.
And you can't do that and keep the quality high. You have to get in the dirt and heave.
PROBLEM 2: AN UNCLEAR DESTINATION
Yes, I had some big changes to make. But I also had some brainstorming to do. There was world building I hadn't done (I know, shocking) and some character motives and secrets I needed to nail down. I got my notebook and began the brainstorming, and when I got home that evening, the words began to come better than they had all month.
I knew what changes I needed to make, but I wasn't really sure how to make them. I didn't really know where I was going, and I was left wandering about and gazing at the clouds.
So from these two points, I think we can guess how to fight the block.
SOLUTION 1: KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING
Get your journal. Open the doc. Grab the restaurant napkin and pen. Whatever spurs your creative juices. Grab it and get to work. Be creative. Write down everything that comes to your mind. You'll find something. I know you will. I believe in you.
SOLUTION 2: BE BOLD, DARING, AND BRAVE.
A good book can only become great after a lot of work. It's not going to happen in just a few days and two drafts. It takes more than that. It takes trying new things and ideas and failing a little. It means scrapping things that don't work and trying things to see what does.
And that requires a little bit of boldness. A dash of daring. And a whole lot of bravery. You have to remember that there is no "failing". There are just things that won't work and things that will. You can always try again. The important thing is to decide on something, and go for it with all you've got.
Please, please, don't be afraid to write new things. To make changes. Some part of you wanted to make those changes in the first place. Likelihood is, it's going to make your book better.
SOLUTION 3: PUSH THROUGH IT
Just take a deep breath and let it go. In this moment, you are right where you need to be.
I hoped this might have encouraged some of you struggling to get the words down!
AND HERE'S A SNIPPET FOR YOU. It's small, don't worry ;P But I just have to let you in on my little reference I made up there. This becomes a theme throughout the book. It was totally pantsed in first draft, but I've kept it and it's become and integral part to pretty much all the characters. *snuggles my children*
|*happy sigh* my little children|
And now off you go! Go break the block!
How has nano been so far for you? Have you fared better than I have, or are you struggling with a block too?