Moodscope's blog

27

February


Getting Stuck! Wednesday February 27, 2019

This is the third time it's happened, so I should have expected it.

Well, being honest, it is about the thirtieth time, but only the third since I found a way through it.

Yes, my book has got stuck.

I think I have at least twenty draft novels in the loft. Some are written in exercise books in an eleven-year old hand (there might be earlier attempts too, but I'm not sure if I've kept the stories where I wrote myself into the adventures of the Famous Five and Secret Seven); some are typed on my mother's old portable typewriter – only thrown away last year when she downsized and moved into her small apartment. Some are printed out in faint grey on that computer paper with holes down the sides. Some are stored on floppy disks (both sizes). There are a lot of stories, and they all have one thing in common: they are unfinished.

You see, they all got stuck at a certain point – usually about a third of the way in – and I didn't know how to unstick them.

I know how to unstick them now, at least in theory. I plot and write every word in my head before I even touch that keyboard.

When the simplicity of this solution was first suggested to me, I was flabbergasted. I had always assumed I was a "seat of the pants" writer, so I just started a story and let it find its own way. Apparently, its own way was to meander to a dead-end. Once I plotted my story scene by scene, it almost wrote itself; the task became easy.

In my second book, it was my villain who gave me trouble. The problem here was that I just liked him too much! Once I understood he was really another hero, it was easy: I just had to chain myself to the keyboard and type.

This book (deep sigh). Despite meticulous plotting, despite knowing my characters inside out, it still got stuck.

I needed to rewrite (in my head) a crucial scene. I did that but was still stuck. Then a friend challenged me. 'Just write another 500 words,' she said. 'Just write the next scene.'

It took such a long time to write those 500 words. Well, no: it took a long time to write the first 300; the last 200 just flew. And now I can't wait to get on with the next bit. All it takes now is the discipline to schedule writing time and then take that time and write.

We get stuck with a lot of things in life. My daughter is stuck with her homework. My husband is stuck midway through decorating our bedroom. My mother is stuck halfway through a patchwork quilt.

Maybe the same solution applies: work it all out in your head first. See the way it needs to go. Then – just do a little bit. Get moving and the momentum of your vision will pull you forward.

Mary
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to leave a comment below.


Permalink  |  Blog Home

Comments

Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 58 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive

Disclaimer

Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2019. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.