Good afternoon, Squiders! We’ll start our next nonfic topic about coming up with ideas and expanding them into something workable next week. I still need to finish outlining the topic before we get started.
But, while we’re talking about that, I’m setting up a new list for authors who’d like to get writing tips and advice in their inbox. You can join here. I’m still tailoring it, so if you’d like to see specific things, let me know!
Now, onto theme. You guys know I’ve been working on rewriting the first book of a fantasy trilogy. It was going okay, but about a month ago it fell apart again. Part of that was from getting ready for the conference, but it hasn’t gotten better. Admittedly it’s been harder to get writing time the last few weeks (though that should be done now) but even when I could have been potentially writing, I’ve been avoiding it.
(Unless it’s been unrelated, such as working on query letters or whatnot.)
It’s been very disheartening. In fact, this morning, I set a deadline for switching to another project if I can’t get my act together.
But I still dragged myself to a coffee shop with the intent of getting something done. And I opened my draft. And I re-read what I have of the current chapter. And then I thought I might go back and re-read what I have of the draft (about 48K) to try and help give me some idea where I was going, despite my outline and the fact that I did that last week (and it obviously didn’t help).
And then my laptop died (the battery’s shot, so if I accidentally knock the power cord it turns off) so I had a few minutes to stare at thin air while it got its act together, and I decided I should go back and look at my theme for the story.
The theme is something along the lines of “Be true to yourself.” Both of the main characters’ internal conflicts stem from this theme, and their gradual acceptance of it is pivotal to the completion of the plot arc over the three books.
And just by reminding myself what my theme was, I started to get some ideas about where to go.
I think that it’s easy to get lost in the middle of the draft, especially since right now I’m in new territory that hasn’t existed in previous drafts. And sometimes, reminding yourself of the point, of why you’re writing something, can be enough to help you re-center.
So hopefully this will be enough to get me back on track.
(While going back through my notes, however, I also noticed that a major subplot has been somewhat dropped. I mean, it’s still in there, but the pacing is off on it. So I think my first order of business is to go back through what I have and fix the pacing on it, which should make where I am–the midpoint–flow appropriately. Without this subplot, one of the major reversals can’t happen, which is, quite frankly, probably leading to a lot of the issues I’m currently experiencing.)
What helps you when your story feels like it’s running into a brick wall, Squiders?