Lately, my advice posts have fell a bit to the way-side. Mainly, I blame a bit of a writer’s burn-out that I suffered from since mid-November.
I’ve been having a frustrating couple of writing weeks centering around the third book in The War of Six Crowns.
In case you’ve missed updates on it, I’ve had to re-draft it twice now. I haven’t had time to mention that right before the house move came, I got seriously stuck. The moment I got past the re-introduction of the characters in the current draft, the wheels fell off spectacularly.
I just couldn’t seem to make the book work in my head. It even got to the point where I was wondering whether I had to scrap the whole idea for what I had in mind for this book, which meant scrapping the whole rest of the series, because a significant amount of it depends on the events taking place right now.
Just like everything depends on the two first books.
And you know what? There comes a point where one’s fears multiply to such a point that you can’t even think straight about something. No amount of telling myself to be rational and just think things through helped. The moment I put serious thought into this book, any thoughts that might have been stewing away vanished and I was again left with nothing but a vague yet growing sense of panic.
So what’s a girl to do? I went to the Untethered Realms Facebook group and said:
“I can’t seem to make book three in my series work. *curls up into a sobbing little ball of misery.*”
A lot of people take time off from writing during the Christmas season. If they’re anything like me, it means that getting back into writing mode can be a bit tricky. So I thought I’d share some of the more efficient ways I use to get my writing groove back.
Reread what you’ve written.
Start off by writing something totally random.
So, as I mentioned on Friday, I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year, but that at this stage I needed to re-evaluate how I was going to approach it.
I decided I’m going to let myself off the hook while pushing myself at the same time. Sounds crazy, I know, but here’s how I look at it.
As far as drafting’s concerned, I don’t really care what my word counts go towards, as long as I write. So at the moment, I’m a bit too stressed to focus on my current WiPs, but it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t write. Just means I can write without focusing on a given project.
Does it mean I’m wasting my time? Probably not. The way I see it, I’ll be adding words to most of my projects, since I won’t really be able to stay away from them. Maybe not 50k to one, but I’ll finish all of them anyway.
Also, doing prompts will open up my thoughts again. It’s been weeks since I could focus on writing, so I need to get back into the swing of things.
Besides, who knows? Maybe one or more of those random prompts I’ll do will lead to an awesome story.
Who else is doing NaNo? If you want to buddy up, my user name’s iceangel. What will you be working on?
I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but for the past week, I’ve had visitors from the Netherlands. It was great having them. We took them all over the area to enjoy the beauty of our landscape.
As some of you might remember from November 2012, I explained how I picked my NaNo novel based on the thought of creating a production-line of sorts.
The plan is simple: Write all the current ideas in my mind. Stay in draft mode for as long as possible. Then move into edit mode and stay there for as long as possible.
My reasoning is that this way, I’ll eventually get to a point where I have a finished novel to query while having a whole line-up of novels to edit at the same time.
Simple, yes. Except for one thing. The way my creative mind works involves lots of pauses while it sifts through its thoughts.
Like now. I know what I want to happen in my current rough draft, but for some reason, I just don’t feel like writing. It’s actually a bit worse than that, although I don’t know how to put it in words.
Suffice it to say, something’s telling me to give this WiP a break.
But if I do, will I get back to it in time for me to fit it into the production line?
My gut says yes. My brain is wondering.
On the other hand, I know that it’s wise to give this one a break. I’ve spent years on the book before it and I’m querying that one as we speak. Maybe I should just relax and go with the flow.
Except I know it will be much better to have the sequel drafted by the time book 1 is out, which might be much sooner than I thought.
As I write this, however, I can feel a knot forming somewhere in my thoughts. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but if I force myself to continue with the story, I’ll be adding to the problem.
Guess that means I’m moving onto something else. Maybe for a day. Maybe longer.
Wonder which story I’ll move to now.
Anyone else hit upon snags without knowing what they are? What do you do?
Thanks so much for the sympathy yesterday! Luckily it seems that I’m going through more of a cold than a flue, so it’s a bit more manageable now that I have the medicine I need to keep it under control.