I know, from someone who writes an absolutely insane amount of words a day, how is this possible, right? (I was just padding my own ego there, forgive me). But seriously, the truth is that this happens to everyone. I usually solve it by breaking down the story. Not the book. Not the novel. The core story.
For One More Day, the story is about a girl with cancer who just wants to survive. In When We Were Kings, it’s about a princess who never wanted to be anything but a wife, and now that choice is gone. For Challenge Accepted, it’s about a girl who wants to be the first female professional gamer in the PLG. For BloodLust, it’s about a humanlike woman who wants to no longer be alone. One simple goal. One single line that the character follows through all those other twists and turns.
Oddly, reading the above, I realize that I need to write a few more books about men. I have them, they just aren’t on the schedule, yet.
But, carrying on…. I’m currently stuck simply because I don’t KNOW what I need to know. That means I’m off to do research. I can’t even imagine how authors used to write stories in a time before Google. It’s mind-boggling, to say the least. They’d probably spend years of their lives in a library, thumbing through countless reference books, then interviewing people who really couldn’t care about this crazy book. And just imagine if you weren’t a published author? No one would give you the time of day!
And so, here I am, taking a little break from reading about this and that to ponder the ease of modern writing, all because I got stuck. Yeah, I’m going to work out this little problem, and my book will probably be better for it – but so will the ones that come after. I got stuck somewhere in my plot, and spent almost an entire day thinking about how exactly I design a story. How do I make a journey that will be convincing to the reader? WHY is it that people enjoy my books? After mulling it over, trying to figure out why I can’t write the ending of this story, it’s all suddenly clear.
I’m stuck because I was trying to end the wrong story. I got stuck in my writing because I was trying to force the story instead of tell it. I got stuck because I stopped thinking about why the reader will care about this person, and started thinking about what I could impart. That’s not story. That’s my own ego getting in the way, and all my ego is good for are a few cheesy jokes in my blog.
Lesson learned. I’m gonna go make sure the next novel is the best one I pur out…. until the next.