Writer’s Stumbling Block

Writer’s Stumbling Block

I’ve said before that I don’t believe in writer’s block.

That being said, I’ve been experiencing it for roughly the past three months and have only this past week finally worked my way through it.

Let me explain.

With the first draft of my current project, a sequel to ‘Lords of Asylum,’I was moving right along for about four months when I began experiencing difficulties maintaining a good flow and most importantly, consistent forward momentum. I have various reasons/excuses/rationalizations for this loss of momentum, but I won’t bore you with them. I’ll bore you with something else.

My goal in first draft writing is maintaining consistent forward momentum. And that means pushing the story forward at all costs. Keep moving ahead. Forget about stuff that doesn’t make sense. Stuff that sucks. Stuff that I know is awful.

When I lose that momentum my goal is always getting it back. The trick is always finding out why I’ve lost it in the first place.

So I sat down and had a heart to heart with myself and through much cajoling and a little manly weeping I realized I had lost the thread of my story. I’d lost touch and needed to get reacquainted. I needed to get the magic back.

So here’s what I did: roughly 40,000 words in, I willfully ditched my quest for the all-important forward momentum. Instead of continuing on with the tip of the spear of my story, I decided to go back and reacquaint myself with the butt end. The beginning, in this case.

I did this by starting my second draft before my first was even done. Not my favorite move. In a perfect world, I’d have finished my first draft in a wave of inspired momentum before going back to work the nuts and bolts with a second draft. But that didn’t happen. Obviously. And drastic problems require drastic measures, and going back and reacquainting myself with my story was necessary. I was foundering in the doldrums. So I fashioned myself a paddle.

And it’s working.

I started by moving my first chapter to a later position(I had started en media res) and then completely rewriting a new first chapter. Then I moved onto the second chapter, adding little touches here and there. The same with the third. The fourth chapter is completely new and adds a small but crucial element to the mix. I can see down the road how it’s going to affect the rest of the story.

That’s as far as I’ve traveled. A new chapter one and four along with some knick-knacky changes. I’ll start work on chapter five tomorrow then see where I stand, working my way through, adding, rearranging, doing whatever necessary. Part of me feels like I’m just retreading waters already discovered, but another part of me sees this as re-engaging my forward momentum. I’m not currently moving along at the tip of the spear, but any movement at the back also moves the fore. My word count is rising. My story’s filling out. And when I get back to the tip of the spear, I’ll be more informed and able to know where the story’s going rather than to hazard guesses.

It’s a long road, but writing a book always is.

Kevin Wright

-Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/2noAXKj

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