I love the book I’m working on. I love its characters—ones I hated to leave behind when I left ONE MORE SUMMER. I love its setting—Peacock, Tennessee is small-town America at its bucolic best. The first half of the book went smoothly in spite of the fact that I had no idea where it was going. Research has been as much fun as it always is. (D’Ann and I are polar opposites on this—she hates research and I want her to write a Western historical. Join me in trying to convince her. She’ll listen to you!)
Well, anyway, I wrote most of Chapter 12. It took the plot in a new direction, gave the protagonists a little more character development, and…it was okay. But wait, it took me two weeks to write 10 pages and they were okay? So I cut the whole chapter. And I haven’t written a viable word since.
I open the file and stare broodingly at it and wonder why I can’t be a plotter and a planner and an outliner and, well, anything except what I am. I get a lot done as far as doing promotional tweets and posting on Facebook and other not-writing things. Yesterday morning I mopped the bathrooms and the kitchen. Last night I made cookies. I said I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I did know. I did.
I’m stuck. My WIP is at a “blue screen of death” place and I’m not sure where to go. Is there a “ctrl, alt, delete” for the “oh my God, what makes me think I’m a writer? I’m terrible. I’m worse than terrible.” train of thought?
It’s not like writer’s block—I can write. I’ve done a couple of blog posts. I even got out an unfinished story and worked on it a little bit to make sure I was “in voice.” I was. It was all right and it’s a book I’ll finish one day. But it’s not the story I want to tell right now. The story I want to tell has, for whatever reason, gone silent.
I’ve developed a habit of ending my posts with a question. This time is no different, except you might sense a hint of desperation in today’s question. That’s no accident—I feel a little desperate. What do you do when you invite your story people out to play and they close the door in your face?