Last week, the washing machine started to make a loud noise during the spin cycle. When I say loud, I don’t mean “Oh, it squeaked a bit.” I mean it shouted out its death throes like a Shakespearian actor trying to steal the show.
Then the door stopped locking and when then door doesn’t lock, the cycle won’t start, therefore rendering it less washing machine more wet place to put clothes.
How does this relate to writing?
Sometimes things don’t click in a story and it won’t lock and this stops you going any further, just like the door on my washing machine. Sadly for my washing machine, the fault was terminal, but the beauty about writing is that a little hiccup doesn’t have to be fatal.
Here’s some things you can try when you get stuck:
Write something else. Get words out. Doesn’t matter what they are. You may find the answer comes to you during one of these sessions when you are really thinking about it.
Handwrite something in a journal.
I love handwriting. I love notebooks. Combine the two and keep a journal for those moments when you’re stuck. Usually I find that the journal entries reveal things I didn’t know about my characters and myself. However, resist falling into the “angst trap.”
Do five minutes of plotting.
Write down what you do know about the scene in bullet points. Write down anything else relating to the scene. This should help to get your mind in a place where you can write the scene itself. After doing the washing, having a cup of tea, eating a snack, rearranging your desk etc etc.
Write through it.
It’s not going to be pleasant and it’s not going to be easy, but puttting In an hour or two of hard graft might produce that scene you needrd to glue it all together.
Leave it and come back later.
I work chronologically so doing this is my least favourite way of doing things. However, if you write scene by scene then glue it together at the end, this way will work really well for you.
Whichever you choose to do, don’t give up on that novel. Your characters deserve a voice, and you don’t want to stop the world from knowing as much about them as you do, do you? Don’t let one little lock stop you from giving them a chance to be heard.