A big fat writing wall…

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It was going so well.  After the December hiatus (of visiting, being visited and festivities), I’ve been looking forward to getting back to the WIP.  I was pleased when I picked up the papers that it was all still there.  My characters were as I left them, my outline was looking good, the flow of the story looked like it was going to hold up.  My next task was to refine a little on the outline, which I did, and then I decided to go back to the Snowflake method, and continue.

The next phase is the listing of scenes as a spreadsheet.  Now, I like a spreadsheet and I like to plan, so this I thought would be an easy step.  It wasn’t.  No trouble making the spreadsheet look nice, but when I came to itemise the first scene, I drew a blank.  What?  You don’t even know what the opening scene is – well I did, but I realised that it wasn’t the new protagonist, but the old one… and that’s a big no-no.  The opening has to be about the main character, and should be setting up his (in my case) goal.  This realisation created a wave of panic, and with that, a fairly blank, switched-off mind.  I’d hit a wall.

I spent an afternoon throwing my head onto my desk and my papers, wondering how I’d written so many words of outline and yet I wasn’t able to picture this one thing.  I felt a failure.  I felt I’d let the story down.  In between the head-pounding, I deployed google to try and give me a way out of the self-torture, and in doing that, I realised that I’d lost sight of the whole story.  Over the last couple of days, I’ve taken steps backwards and tried to engage with the concept and the spark of the idea that had me excited in the first place.

In my searches, I found this incredible resource, live write thrive, and it has been like having a writing coach beside me.  It has shaken up my writing thinking in the latte part of this week, and I am indebted to the very talented C S Lakin for sharing her knowledge and experience.  It’s made me realise that I need to take some time to make sure the foundations are set right before I start writing…

Back in September, on my Literary Adventure, I left saying that I wanted to be the best writer that I could be, and I think Lakin’s gifts will help me along the way.   It’s like being given a leg up, and I’m really enjoying examining some of the holistic drivers of my WIP before I squirrel back down into the writing.  Happy writing days.

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