Tag Archives: Writer's Block

Plowing Ahead

Yesterday I opened a giveaway for my 500th blog post. I’m leaving the comments open until Wednesday evening and I’ll announce a winner on Thursday. If you haven’t commented yet, stop by to ogle the top 10 nummy men from my Fantasy Men Fridays!

Blog post 501 just doesn’t have the same ring as 500th, does it?

Anyway, I waffled all night and all morning trying to come up with a topic for today. I was going to blog about pain and donating blood, but I’ve settled on a writing topic. Why? Because a few weeks ago I hit a major road block in my writing.

I’m currently working on two WIPs. One is the second book in my Olympus, Inc. series and the other is a Christmas novella I was inspired to write by a random comment on Facebook. Neither of them were going well. It got to the point where I hated the heroine of my novella and I had no idea what my characters were doing in my Olympus book.

Now? I still don’t know what my characters are doing in the Olympus book, but after slashing 14,000 words from my novella, I’ve finally figured out where the story is going. And I like my heroine again. In three days, I wrote 10,000 words to bring the novella back up to the word count it was at before I went all Jack the Ripper on it.

Some authors will say never throw away your words because you never know when you can use them. Normally, I’d agree. I have about twenty different versions of my Olympus book, but with the novella, that wasn’t an  option. It’s hard to write a story when you dislike your heroine. Why did I dislike her so much? She was weak and wimpy. I blame my inability to write these kinds of heroines on Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman. It’s their fault I can’t write helpless heroines. I have no problem making the hero slightly weak (or vulnerable if you rather), but the heroine has to be strong. And cutting that weakness from the story was necessary. It was a risky killing, but it was needed to give the story life again.

Writing for me is like gambling. Sometimes you’re on a hot streak and can’t be stopped, like when I wrote the first Olympus book. 80,000+ words in 28 days. Yeah, I was feeling the fire and it was good. Other times, you can’t win to save your life. You keep borrowing money to play because you know the next scene is going to be better and the next thing you know, your muse has married an Elvis impersonator and left you alone with three very big men who want to twist you like a pretzel (in a bad way).

Then there are times like what I’m facing with this novella. You have to cut your losses while you’re ahead and retreat back to your farm. You ignore the frantic calls from your muse who insists she’s getting a divorce and is never drinking Mind Erasers again. You ignore the temptation of the finish-it-quick plot angle and you plow ahead. This is your book; you can make it do anything it wants and if your characters protest, you slap them in the back of the head and tell them to get with the mf’ing program. You have to be stern with them sometimes.

That’s what I’ve had to do and I don’t really care if my characters keep blushing and stuttering because they’re uncomfortable with what I’m doing to them. It’s for their own good after all. They’re going to  live happily ever after while I have to go and wrangle more stubborn characters. Just as soon as my muse files the restraining order against Elvis and gets out of rehab.

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Titles, Titles, Everywhere

I’m going out of my mind. The WIP I’m working on is 30k words in, but I have no working title. It’s driving me insane. I’m a writer who needs a catchy title to give me the proper feel for a book. My critique partners probably think I’m insane, but titles are important, I feel. The catchier they are, the more attention they grab.

Some of my past titles are Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose (not my best effort), Succubus-in-Waiting, Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous, and That Ain’t No Bull. You get the idea? I like fun and to try to give a little hint of what’s inside the story just by the title.

That’s why this latest WIP is making me insane. I don’t have a title and I feel like every title I come up with is too…blah. So how do I resolve this issue? I’ve tossed ideas back and forth with my BFF, but neither of us are having any luck. So I’m going to let y’all name my WIP. Yay! A naming! A naming! (not quite like a spanking, but you get the idea)

In order for you to come up with a great name, you have to know what the book is about, right? Er, yeah. So I’m going to give you my very, very raw blurb about this book:

Known for her killer fashion sense and skill with any weapon, giantess Roxana Love is an enforcer for Olympus Inc., the corporate face of the Greek pantheon. To keep her brother safe, her latest job is to protect and escort Heracles’ newly discovered son to Zeus’ temple before Hera’s minions can kill him. No problem, except the godling is h.o.t.! It’ll take all of Roxana’s considerable skills to keep him alive, but who’ll keep her from falling in love with the sexy man?

Mason Landry expected the tall, uptown woman who walked into his bar to be a great one-night stand and she was. He didn’t expect her to be a bodyguard tasked with escorting him to an immortal family he never knew existed. With otherworldly creatures doing their best to kill him, Mason discovers that the woman beneath the warrior’s veneer is perfect for him. Now he just has to figure out how to get her to ignore his family ties and realize he’s perfect for her.

So that’s the basic idea. For further reference, Roxana is a kick ass giantess with a  sarcastic sense of humor. Mason had no idea he was anything but human and has his own sense of snark.

I’d like you to think of some fun titles and post them in the comments. Pass the word around to your creative friends. After I get a few, I’ll post them in a poll for everyone to vote on. Please vote!

Now to get back to Roxana and Mason’s story. These two are a joy to write, if not to title.

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The Fire Inside

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably realize that this weekend I had an epiphany. Well, something like that.

This is what happened (you knew it was going to be a story, didn’t you):

Friday I was in a crisis of plot and characterization for That Ain’t No Bull manuscript. I was at the black moment and I just couldn’t go on. Not like I was going to throw myself off the building or anything, but I couldn’t keep writing that story. It was really bothering me. I mean, I think it’s good (of course I do), but I felt as though I was losing the thread. My heroine is snarky and insane yet her black moment turned her into a daytime soap star. It was too melodramatic and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

My solution was to send it to one of my CPs and let her look at it. But what to do while she was looking it over? Well, if you follow my blog, you’ll remember that I have a method for clearing my mind of unnecessary thoughts when I’m stuck on a project. So that’s what I did, except this time I was going to actually plot. Me. Plotting. I thought the sky would fall.

So I did what this handy little mini-plotting course I signed up for said to do. I had it all planned out and I started writing. I was maybe 1200 words in when I realized…I hated it. My heroine wasn’t snarky enough, there wasn’t enough danger, and there wasn’t enough humor. Then I remembered an idea I had while using the bathroom at work (writers get ideas in the weirdest places). What could be funnier than someone passing code on toilet paper in the bathroom? You ladies know how it is: you use the bathroom and realize there’s no toilet paper in your stall. What to do? Yell to the person in the stall next to you and ask if they have toilet paper. We have to help each other out, you know.

So that’s where I started the story and to my utter surprise, I couldn’t stop writing. Friday afternoon I think I churned out about four thousand words. Saturday morning, I went to get a pedicure and then headed to the coffee shop to write some more. By the time I stopped to meet up with my sister for lunch, my side project had blossomed by another four thousand words. *dead faint* But it didn’t stop there.

I don’t normally write on the weekends. I have a routine and I stick to it, but this story wouldn’t leave me alone. I took a nap when I got home and then hopped right back on the story like a bronco rider. The side project grew by leaps and bounds until I was looking at 10k words. What was going on? When I found myself back at the keyboard yesterday morning, I knew I was onto something. I would write, write some more, then take a break, write some more and by the time I went to bed last night, I had 18k words. That’s eighteen THOUSAND words!

And I’m not finished. Oh no, I can’t even think about That Ain’t No Bull right now. No, my mind is firmly fixated on this story which is like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians meets Krelsey Cole’s Immortals After Dark. Or something like that. I still haven’t come up with a logline, blurb, or synopsis yet, but I can’t be bothered by insignificant details right now! My muse, my lovely, supporting, slave driving muse, has taken over my brain.

What’s it called? I’m not sure yet and that’s a surprise since I’m a person who has to have a title before I can write. At this point, it’s unimportant.

What do you do when the “fire” is upon you? Do you go with the flow, or do you try to ignore it?

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Blank Slate

I’ve sat here for over an hour trying to think of something to blog about. Oh, I have ideas, but none of them are interesting enough to persue. Thankfully, I don’t get like this very often. I believe a combination of writer’s block, fatigue, and upcoming events has me feeling pulled in too many directions.

So, instead of forcing myself to write about something you’re not going to want to read about, I think I’ll just post a picture.

This…beautiful man’s name is Daniel Conn. I posted another picture of him last year wearing…a lot less. You can see it here. He’s quite beautiful, isn’t he? Who needs to run off at the mouth about nothing when they can spend hours drooling over him? *sigh*

I’ll think of something…well, not better, but at least something to actually blog about tomorrow I’m sure. In the meantime, enjoy his…drool-worthiness. I know I will while I try to break down the writer’s block in my head.

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Meh

I’m a fan of LOLcats, but I ran across one picture that spoke to me because I’m suffering from this exact same thing.

I haven’t written anything worth saving in well over a week. I’m not sure if it’s writer’s block, or writer’s burn out. I’ve been going full speed ahead since July without a single break from writing (other than my weekend ME time).

The story I’m currently working on does want to be written, but I can’t bring myself to write it. I replotted it twice, so maybe that has a lot to do with it. It’s an entirely new world, so I worry that I became too comfortable with The Veil series.

I have scored a new critique partner (that puts me at 2 now) and she’s helping with my 3rd manuscript. She’s found a lot of things I glossed over in my initial edits, so I think we’re going to get along well. I don’t know if my mind is torn between my edits and new material.

Argh! Maybe it isn’t any of that, maybe I’ve just burned out my muse (or my creative brain). I haven’t even thought of any new things to write about, which is strange for me. *slump* I’m not depressed, just tired, I think. Writing 3 manuscripts in a year has done a number on my brain.

What do you do when your brain feels burnt to a crisp?

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An Epiphany

I’ve been working on the manuscript I started for NaNo, trying to get it to my word count goal of 92,000 words. It hasn’t been going well. Oh, I wrote some really awesome dark scenes (I’m writing this in a cast since I broke my arm patting myself on the back), but the points between the dark scenes and love scenes are falling flat.

The latest chapter is the point when the hero discovers that the heroine is an assassin who was sent to kill him. That was a powerful scene. He was so pissed! I was really into that scene. I mean, I wrote it with the thought that this is how I’d react if someone was sent to kill me and slept with me instead.

The next chapter is where I’m having the problem. Well, before my epiphany. See, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get her to leave his home without making it overly dramatic. She has to suffer for her lies and for failing in her assignment. I was going to have her go home, mope a bit, write a confession, and send it to the good guys before she was caught by her ‘handler’. Then I was like…wait a minute that isn’t going to work.

So there I was, brushing my teeth this morning and it came to me. Bloody hell. I’m so dense sometimes! She isn’t going to actually leave! She’s now responsible for his safety. She has to remain around to keep him safe without him knowing she’s there. She can do this because she’s the bomb (or rather because she’s a shadow fairy who can disappear into the smallest shadow). Duh!

I’m so frustrated because I should’ve written this scene earlier this week instead of agonizing over how I was going to get to this point. I even pulled out my plot outline to see ‘yes, I am following the plot, but why does this suck?’ Nothing helped. It wasn’t writer’s block though, so much as scene block. My brain wasn’t clicking to the next logical step.  So thank goodness for my weird muse finding me while I brush my teeth!

Has this happened to you? Where you’re following your carefully outlined plot and discovered you were stuck? If you’re a pantster, have you found yourself thinking ‘um, and now what?’

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