Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Learning to stop when stuck

You'd think a stuck person would automatically stop. It pretty much works on vehicles, doesn't it? I guess not entirely--one can spin tires and slide sideways and make a small amount of forward motion for the price of a lot of fuel.

Same can be with writing. I've been more-or-less stuck on Tempest for the past couple of weeks. I can see the rough shape of what needs doing to it to un-stick it, but the sheer amount of work has had me stalled. It's not work itself I'm afraid of. More the fact that while I'm shuffling things, I could lose parts and have a hard time putting the parts back into some kind of a whole. Pathetically, that means I seem to prefer a flawed whole over a shredded-but-possibly-closer whole. (Whole not meaning whole as in an entire novel. More like meaning the whole of what I've written so far.)

Today's lesson from the How to Think Sideways workshop by Holly Lisle is about middles that go awry and some tips on how to deal with them. How to recognize the issues and find solutions.

I'm almost glad I've stalled out and been taking the easy way of working on another project, just ignoring Tempest for the time being. You see, I want to FIX Tempest. Holly's advice (which I've seen in her other workshops) tends more to analyzing the problem, figuring out what you should have done, making notes on it, and then CARRYING ON as though you've already fixed it.


Keep going all the way to the end, then use your notes as the beginning of your revision guide.

But I want to fix it now. Well, in theory. Really I want to already have fixed it. But I haven't.

Meanwhile I've been having a great time with Dottie, writing from one to two thousand words a day. I need to get back to Tempest, though. It's like she's standing on the side, watching, waiting. Ready to take the baton from Dottie and carry the next lap herself.

Maybe next week.


fiorinda said...

I've been stuck for quite some time. Then today, I had a breakthrough. It was completely unexpected. It will be unpleasant in some ways to write, because things aren't working out they way I originally intended. But I know it's the right way. And I've written something for the first time in a very long time.

Valerie Comer said...

Yay Fiorinda! Glad to hear the bug is biting you again. And unpleasant might mean an infusion of conflict--not usually a bad thing :)