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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Spinning Wheels

I've been working on this proposal. I had two chapters done before I went to Minneapolis and I figured another two chapters would give me about fifty pages and I'd be good to go. Only I got stuck.

There was a lot of stress involved with the house stuff up in Minnesota and even after I got back to Georgia, the stress level continued to soar high. I chalked the stall up to that. After all, when your fingernails are buried in the ceiling, it's hard to type. ;-)

But when the stress level eased back and I still couldn't write anymore in this story, I knew something was wrong. You see, I only get wheel spinning stuck when I've written something my hero or heroine don't like or that they would never, ever do. This has happened often enough that you think I'd get it faster than I do. Despite all the experience I have, this wasn't my first thought when I got stuck.

No, my first thought was maybe there's something wrong with what I'm planning to do in the next chapter. I ran it past my writing buddies, but they didn't see anything off in what I had planned.

Another week of frustration passed before the light bulb went off over my head. Duh, I'd messed up somewhere. Now I just needed to figure out what was wrong.

I found some little things and changed them. Still stuck.

I ran the previous chapters past my writing buddies with the focus on what I'd already written. I tried fixing their suggestions. Still no forward progress.

This called for complete story deconstruction. I questioned everything, and after a conversation with my hero, I realized that the entire setup was completely wrong. He wouldn't do what I had him doing, not after his temper cooled off.

Not good news. It means rewriting everything from the ground up. And it means figuring out another way to open the story. Unfortunately, I'm still mulling because the original opening was strong and nothing else I'm coming up with equals it. More contemplation is needed, but it's just a matter of time before I conquer this.