Writing through Writer’s Block
There is something really sad when a story is half-way through and the motivation for the characters up and dries out. Questions like “how do I resolve this situation” or “where do I take them now” abound through the mind, adding to the frustration of writing. As a writer, I’ve had my fair share of writer’s block, and I’ve discovered for myself that it’s best to let the story go. I save it, store it, and sometimes I go back and revisit in case something jumps into my mind.
I’ve only had one book I had to work off deadline, and that was A Silver Lining, a Battle of the Sexes story published through Loose Id. I turned in my story synopsis and outline to my editor in July and I had to have it finished by November. Whenever I got stuck on something I would move away from the section I was trying to write and move on to another part. Since I didn’t have the option to sit back and wait for motivation, I found this method worked best for me. By having something to look forward to and connect with, I was able to manipulate my characters into getting to point B a lot faster.
Some stories are easier to write than others. Such is the case for my first M/M romance-You Can Run. It was written in my mind when I moved from Baton Rouge, LA to Los Angeles, and when I sat down to my computer I wrote it in two weeks! Through my entire journey across Interstate 40, I saw Big Rig trucks traveling up and down the road. At night I would see them lined up in a row, bunked down for the driver to rest at truck stops. I started imagining one of my heroes, Kyle, a young kid with a secret who needed to get out of town. I pictured how the driver of a truck, Del, would react to having such a guest. I must have taken a thousand pictures of trucks and the countryside to use for this story!
As I said before, there are some stories that a writer must let go of. For me, it usually stems from the characters completely taking over and leading me away from the vision I had of the story. When that happens I have to rethink the entire plot and sometimes this is just not that easy. There are key scenes I want to have happen, but they wouldn’t make a lick of sense with how the twists are taking me.
Other times I let go of a story because a new idea has come to me and I feel too excited by it to let it rest. This is perhaps the worst scenario, because I’ve already given life to the characters I’ve created and I end up shelving them. It’s like putting a pet outside in the rain.
And sometimes I put a story on hold simply because I have to break for editing. Usually there is a deadline for edits turnaround, so sometimes the writing muse has to be silenced. But writer’s block?…nah. Too many voices wanting their story to be told.
-Beth D. Carter
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I am a full time writer and stay at home mom which means I watch a lot of Pixar films. Over and over and over again. I hate washing dishes but I love cooking. I hate washing clothes but I love wearing them. I try to write characters who aren’t cookie cutters, ones who are full of angst but where love redeems them. I push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. Music inspires me as do the boats and arguing seals in the marina where I live. I hate people who don’t pick up their dog’s crap in public places and I really hate people who are rude and condescending. I especially hate discrimination in all and every form. The perfect birthday presents are gift certificates to bookstores. And I love to hear from readers. I’m really easy to find on Facebook or Twitter.