April 19, 2009

The Never-Ending Novel

The K C Writers would like to welcome Guest Blogger Melissa Whittle. Thanks for joining us and sharing your own brand of insights into the writing world. Be sure to catch Melissa on her blog "Brain Clutter."

The Never-Ending Novel

This blog is for people who have “writer's block” or lost of motivation to keep writing. I'm confessing and spilling my secrets...

I recently signed up on the Romance Divas forum to participate in the Mentor Program. The purpose is to push your comfort zone and become a better writer. I'm all for that. Matter of fact I've craved it for the past year.

The downside? Le sigh. I'm still on chapter 2. Usually when I get an idea for a book and have the book mapped out in my head, I'm off to the races. The book is as good as finished. Now this usually happens around 20-30k of the novel. I'm 5k into this sucker and I know the purpose of this novel. I know what needs to happen. At this point there are no surprises.


Okay, I admit, I'm being a little dramatic, but the point is the same—this book has a long way to being finished. I haven't even hit the first turning point. I really want someone to come shoot me like ol' yeller and put me out of my misery.

So, I've made a list of ways to get me out of the slump * recommended for people who have yet to finish a novel *

Read a crappy book.
If you have thrown out the novel, go in search of it again. Re-read it, and bask in the glow of it's awfulness.
Play spider solitaire until your eyeballs start to go dry.
Clean the house. When I say clean, I mean getting an old toothbrush and attacking the baseboards.
Research the process of “how toenails grow” or better yet, “how grass grows”
Make it your goal to leave a comment on every blog that exists.
Volunteer to clean someone else's house since yours is now clean.
Feng Shui your clean house. This also involves research.

Now if you've reached number seven and still don't want to open that WIP and write, I can't help you. I gave up less than half-way through crappy book. Finishing my book wasn't as much work after getting to chapter five.

* okay, serious author hat on * Know you are not the only author struggling to get to The End. The finish line may seem miles away, but I can tell you it is worth it. Best advice I've ever received, and it's so simple, butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

I'm off to take my own advice.

What tips do you have for getting out of a writing slump?

~Melissa Blue and I'm out~



At April 19, 2009 at 9:48 AM , Blogger Sarah Simas said...

Hi Melissa! Great post. I enjoyed hearing another writer's woes of the dreaded 'slump.'

I just recently had to pull myself up by the bootstraps and put 'butt in chair' into action. I couldn't agree more with your advice.

Thanks for the inspiration!

At April 19, 2009 at 3:24 PM , OpenID melissablue13 said...

Another angle is that maybe you just aren't excited by the story anymore. You know what's going to happen. Kind of like you read the first chapter of a book and you know how it will end. Kind of hard to get excited about it.

Anyway, you're welcome. Glad to know my angst helps others.


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