where the writers are
When You Get Stuck...

Do you ever get stuck when you're writing and wonder how to get unstuck? Have a closet muse? Need a boost?

I refuse to call it writer's block. It's so...negative. So I get stuck sometimes. Usually in the middle. What do I do now. I'm a pantser. So I write strictly by the seat of my pants. No plotting. When I was a kid, I could never write an outline. If I did, I would have to give up, couldn't stick to an outline, write my research paper, then write my outline afterwards.

Same with synopsis now. I write my novel, then write the synopsis later. Some do wonderfully plotting out their whole manuscript. We have to do what works for us as individuals. So how to get unstuck.

Sometimes I take a break and write articles like this. Or watch a show on tv, something that's completely different from what I'm working on. Or work in the garden, catch up on the dishes. Sometimes I'll read books in the same genre I'm working in and that will give me some ideas. Or sometimes reading something entirely different helps. If I research an area or clothes, or something relevant to what I'm writing, I will often find a snippet of information I can develop into a subplot.

Supblots, yep. That's another way to add to the story. Develop a subplot, braid it with the main plot though so it doesn't look like a random thought, and it can open up all kinds of possibilities. Sometimes trying something totally new will help broaden a writer's interests and in doing so help the writer to become unstuck.

Sometimes I just have to stick with the manuscript, if I'm ever going to get it done, and brainstorm, until I work out the difficulty and keep on trudging along.

In the end, it's finished. And then the fun is starting all over again.

How do you get unstuck while writing?

Terry Spear


Heart of the Wolf, Winning the Highlander's Heart, The Vampire...In My Dreams