work in progress · Writing

Middle Book Blues

I haven’t written a word in nearly two weeks. The book is half done. 

I have heard that the middle of the book is the hardest bit to write, the most common place to get stuck. How do I get out of it?

I have some idea what the next biggest scene will be. I even have some idea what my character needs to do – he has a to do list! And he’s sorely behind in the list of the things he needs to do. (He was derailed by the plot bunny!) Poor guy.

But I don’t know the next immediate step. I don’t know how he gets from here to the next biggest scene and he can’t just skip from here to there. I don’t even know how he gets from here to the next thing on his to do list.

I’m stuck and it’s unpleasant. Very, very unpleasant.



I is for Ideas

I think I am going through an idea drought lately. Well, more like than I am stuck on the current novel in progress. I don’t know how to go on. I got the middle blues. Which is where I usually get stuck. It’s depressing. I know what happens after this bit, but not how to get there.

I guess that’s why I started the erotica novella. It’s an idea I’ve had for some time and just never really did anything about.

Though I don’t know – should I take a month-long break from the novel to do this? I am and I am hoping it’ll shake something loose. I was frustrated trying to write a transition type bit in the novel and not get getting anywhere. Maybe I should have written the piece(s) afterward, just to give myself a goal. Maybe. I don’t know.

But the erotica novella is new and interesting too so . . . I’m just not really sure if it’s a good idea taking a long break. But we’ll see.


N is for No Ideas

It’s not that I’ve no ideas for short stories right now; I’ve several. It’s that I am not entirely sure how to write them down.

Where do I start? What character do I start with?

It’s not like writer’s block (which I don’t believe in anyway.) Writer’s block is supposed to be when a writer has no ideas at all about a story. You stare at the blank page and your mind is blank, too. You got no characters, no plot, no world, nothing. Not even the seed of an idea.

You need to start at the beginning, right? But where is the beginning? That’s the question. I don’t know.

Personally, I think this means I just to think about the story a little bit more. Or maybe I will just write the scenes I do and worry about the beginning later. No one ever said the story has to be written linearly. I could jump around the timeline and piece it all together later.

There is trouble with that approach – making sure all the pieces fit and follow each other and don’t develop a big gaping hole – but I am not sure what else to do.


On Not Writing For A Month

Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

Don’t how it is for other people, but for me, if I don’t write for a while, writing becomes harder and harder to do.

It’s happened before; I go months without writing anything. I tell myself I will do it during summer vacation or next month when I have more time. But it doesn’t happen. Before I know it, the whole year is gone and I have only managed to write a few dozen pages. Not even one whole story.

It’s been a while since that happened. In fact, it hasn’t happened since before I started this blog and for that I am grateful. I think that’s a side effect of having this blog, one I didn’t expect.

I need to write often for it; I write friday flash most weeks; I see what other people are

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writing. It’s all very inspiring and helps me to keep working on the WiP. Even when I don’t feel like working on the WiP, it’s easier to force myself write at least a little these days. I think when I work on other pieces, on longer pieces to submit to magazines, all that helps to keep the juices flowing as far the WiP goes.

But still, still I know if I don’t write for a while it will very difficult to start writing again at the end of the month. There is a chance I might not be able to write a damn thing for the next few weeks. It worries me.

There is a good chance I might not get a chance to read anything either, but that doesn’t worry me. I know what the saying is: if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have to write. But sometimes you can’t do both and have to pick one or the other. Reading is easier, of course, in a lot of ways. 😉

Writing is hard if I am exhausted or lack focus or if I just don’t have a quiet space to work in.

Even if the muse goes on vacation after a couple weeks of not writing, he will come back (yes, my muse is male). I have no doubts about that, but he might take months to come back to me. It’s worrying. 


On the Terrors of a Blank Screen

Yesterday I found myself staring at a blank screen.

See, on Scrivener each scene gets its own space and when I start a new scene, the screen is blank. And the last time I worked on the WiP, I stopped before I wrote a single word of the new scene. When I saw that blank screen, it scared me so much I just stared at it for a while. Would start to write something, change my mind, start again and stop, over and over and over again.

I have faced the blank screen before. I do it for every flash or short story I start. But yesterday it scared me more than it usually does.

It wasn’t writer’s block (not sure I believe in writer’s block anyway.) I knew what was going to happen in the scene, the characters, how they were going to react to each other, the layout of the room.  But I couldn’t get it on paper (screen).

Finally, I decided change what it shows me so I could see everything I’d written so far. That helped. I actually wrote a couple paragraphs. Of course I dumped half of what I wrote in the trash file (as opposed to deleting it entirely).

Managed a 100 something words before the headache got so bad I couldn’t write anymore.Better than nothing, but still, it’s not good.

I think the lesson I’ve learned here is to write a few lines in the next scene before stopping for the night.

Short Story · Teaser Tuesdays · work in progress · Writing

Image Prompt

Teaser Tuesday is day after tomorrow and I am afraid I have nothing. No short story, anyway, though the novel WiP proceeds apace. So I decided to look for inspiration to write a short stories. I wanted a picture, and naturally, I went to deviantart. I found two pictures.

The first looks like a witch or princess with her pet dragon. The other one is of a cemetery, of course, but I am thinking these are two end points. The story starts in a palace and ends in the cemetery. Now, what could cause a princess to go there?

I also think I am going to use Storybook to plan it out. It is a short story, so there won’t much in the way of planning. But still, it should be good as an experiment.



General · Short Story · word count · work in progress · Writing

Bird by Bird: Plot

At the beginning of Bird by Bird, starting on page 54, there is a short section entitled Plot. In this she says not to worry about the plot, but about the characters. You should get to know the characters, their relationship, and the plot comes out of that.

Well, I know my characters. At least I know as well it is possible to know a character in less than 1000 words. I know they are adversaries. If this was a typical urban fantasy story, they would also be attracted to each other. They haven’t come to life for me,  not like in other stories I’ve written. I haven’t known my MC for long enough for that to happen and the adversary has been around for barely a paragraph. Maybe that is the problem, but it will be 2000 words at most and that isn’t long enough anyway for characters to take on a life. Not for me.

Anyway, I will just keep on writing. If it is no good, I can always press delete.