Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Writer's Block

For the first time in my writing career, I've experienced writer's block. I know it is impressive I made it so many years without experiencing this phenomenon which plaques seemingly every writers' existence. Yet writer's block has never been an issue that I had to deal with. Therefore, this post is going to be rather odd. It won't necessarily be helpful to people who deal with writer's block regularly in any least I very much doubt it. This is simply my musing on the topic because I can now say I have faced it.

I had reached a point in my current novel where I was simply stuck. I began this novel during NaNoWriMo last year and completed my 50,000 words. Yet the story was far from done, and throughout December of 2018, I continued writing. Now over 60,000 words, I entered January.

And that's when the magic stopped. I had a detailed outline telling me exactly where my story would end up. I already knew the climax and had 'written' specific scenes of the climax in my mind a dozen times. Yet I was stumped as to how to get my characters to that climax. I knew how the end battle was going to go down, but I didn't know precisely where or when, and that is what was killing my inspiration juices. If I don't know where, geographically speaking, to take my characters, they're basically stuck in their house--or this case, living as fugitives in Paris. And if I don't know precisely when that last battle takes place, I can't move the story forward simply because I don't know how many days--within the context of the story--it will take to reach my goal. Thus, my dilemma.

I have tried, off and on throughout January, to get past this roadblock. I failed. I might write a couple hundred words when I sat down, but they were meaningless, had little bearing on the overall plot, and certainly weren't complete scenes.

Today, I managed to get around this thing called writer's block--which up until now had never been something I faced. I did more research on 12th century Paris, and also on a specific historical person who features in my story, Eleanor of Aquitaine. And for whatever reason, which I could not possibly explain, that's what it took to open the dam. I suddenly knew exactly where and when the climax was taking place. And the words poured forth.

So...that was my one and only experience with writer's block, and I do hope I never have to experience it again. If you face this sort of thing regularly, I deeply apologize for your pain.

Happy Writing, everybody!

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