Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hitting the Wall

Well, I’ve been working on this National Novel Writing Month project. I have been working on characterization of both the protagonist and antagonist. I’ve been using the book, The 90 Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within. It has been a wonderful. I love the writing prompts and the process of working on protagonist and antagonist through evaluating their motivations and needs. I’ve been writing and writing. Sometimes the words just flow and I’ve even had flashes of the ending of the story. I’ve seen the end in my mind. I know where it’s going.

I got to the 30 day prompt in this lovely book and I hit the wall. The prompt for that day was “Write the Story”. What!? You were telling me to hold the story loosely. I don’t have a plan. I’m stuck. I came to a screeching halt. My mind went totally blank. I didn’t expect such a response from my internal fear button. I hit that wall and stopped writing. I had the disease-writer’s block.

What’s the story?  What’s the plot line? How do I get here? How do I even start?

So I closed my word processor. I walked away. I was uncomfortable and I was ready to give up. I didn’t know where to go or how to begin. I felt like a failure. I can’t write a story. I don’t have the skill. Wait-what did you just say? Skill- well, a skill can be learned. I opened some books and began to read. The appendix of the The 90 Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within was very helpful in alleviating the fear. I am very grateful to the author for showing his process and bearing those first drafts for the world to see. The first drafts from the author were just like I write. He had a ton of telling instead of showing. I beat myself up for that, but hey maybe everyone does it that way. The rewrite was amazing. It showed the first vs. the published version of his story. There was an amazing transformation. I took that lesson to heart and felt the truth of first drafts are rubbish, but don’t stop. You don’t know what you have until you are done.

Now, I needed a plan for how to begin. I went to The Story Template: Conquer Writer’s Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. Yes, I can do this! Each part of the story is listed and brief descriptions are given. I have a plan. I can get a terrible first draft out. Then fix all the problems in the rewrite. Or maybe fix them in the second and third rewrite. Don’t stop. Never give up and never surrender. Look for a path through the darkness.

I’ll keep you posted. Word count: 20,141.