This is not going to be the usual Why I Can’t Write a Blog Post Today post. Oh, I did not write a blog post and I’m not exactly going to write one now. I’m going to tell you what I did instead.
I don’t know if I mentioned that my novel has hit another snag. It’s been doing that a lot lately. Then I think of something else to write and I limp along for a few more pages. And then I hit another snag. Oh dear.
I’ve read that when you run into a snag, sometimes it means there is an inherent problem in the work. Bulling your way through is not the best thing to do. Pausing and figuring out the problem is. As long as it does not become an excuse for just not writing the damn thing. Which, for many projects, is actually the right thing to do.
But I digress.
I think my problem with this novel is a problem that often plagues works of fiction: namely, there is no problem. To put that more clearly, the problem WITH the novel is that there are not enough problems IN the novel. I need some more conflict, more obstacles for my characters to overcome. I need a few other things, too, but to get into those would be to tell entirely too much of my plot, so, sorry, let’s stick with the no problem thing.
Knowing what the issue is is unfortunately only half the battle. Now I have to figure out how to solve it. I decided to (1) not beat myself up and (2) not worry if I did not write on the novel for the rest of the week as long as I thought about the novel and what it needed. A rationalization for a mental vacation? Well, who cares if it was, just listen to what happened today.
I sat at my machine at work, thinking (working too; I believe I’ve mentioned I have that sort of a job). I came up with some ideas. I thought some more. I thought I’d better write some notes on a few of these ideas. Of course, writing notes is not the same thing as writing a novel, but sometimes you do what you have to do.
And here is the amazing thing: I sat down and did NOT write notes, I wrote NOVEL! Suddenly, I was deep into an exciting scene that I hadn’t even thought about writing. I was in a character’s head I had not thought I would get into. Ooh, what would come next? Dammit, a fifteen minute break is short!
I couldn’t wait for lunch, when I wrote some more. I am aware, of course, that some of the things we feel most pleased about as we write and immediately after we have written turn out not to be as wonderful as we thought. I don’t care. I wrote on my novel. I can’t wait to see what I write tomorrow.
Although I do hope to get back to writing good blog posts eventually. As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.