Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tales of an Unpublished Author: Slow Going

You know the moment. 

You’re on a roll. The words are flowing.

This is a killer mss. *pats self on back*

Nothing can go wrong, right? Right?!

Then the monster of the unknown territory roars a maniacal laugh and slams its foot on page 172 of your mss.

And your story grinds to a halt. Good bye, productivity. Hello, slow down. 

I face the monster from time to time but this week, the dreaded synopsis was the monster on page 172. In this submission, the synopsis had to come long before the final mss and I could get the task out of my mind. (Granted, I’m not on page 172 of my mss which made tackling writing a synopsis even harder.)

It had to be done. 

Writing by the seat of my pants isn’t my forte. I have to know what is going to happen before I write it. I’m not a fan of the unknown.

Little by little, I’ve learned to kick the unknown out the door. How did I do this? I just plugged away every day. Brainstormed. Even resorted to Write or Die. My characters talked to each other as fast as they could to avoid the red screen of terror. 

Next stop: If I couldn't figure it out, I’d pass the synopsis through my critique partners for their insight.

I guess what I’m saying is: If you’re stuck, there are options. Even if that means walking away from the problem for a few hours or even days. Yes, DAYS.

So, what slows you down when you write? And how do you tackle it?

Happy Hump Day!

Abbi J

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