When the words won’t come

Good snowy Monday, readers. I hope you all survived Super Bowl Sunday! I, myself, enjoyed the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial and the Dorritos’ goat! Before I forget, Shannon Vannatter interviewed me on her lovely blog this week. If you drop by her blog, read the interview, and leave a comment (on HER blog, not here…) you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Love Comes to Paradise. This book has just made the CBD bestseller list and has recently been released for e-readers. here’s the link to Shannon’s blog: http://shannonvannatter.com/mary-ellis-romantic-excerpt-part-1-of-2/   Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already done so, since I’ll be giving away 10 copies of Love Comes to Paradise on March 15th.

Every writer whether our contemporaries or long gone has wrestled for hours when they can’t string seven words together into a concise sentence. We doubt ourselves, our mentors, the process we thought we’d perfected, even the quality of beans that went into our cup of java. It happens to the best of us. And it will happen to all of us eventually. There is no one-size-fits-all solution since writers are as different as that shade of navy you’re trying to match. I can only give you my humble opinion to tuck into your first aid kit on possible cures.

When the words won’t come I see two possible reasons, both of which involve turning off and moving away from your computer. How many times have we fallen asleep in our easy chairs, but tossed-and-turned in bed for hours? If you get out of bed and put the TV back on, you’ll doze off by the next commercial. Same is true about trying to force creativity in front of your laptop. Once you are seated in a lawn chair or a booth at the coffee shop, consider the first reason your well is dry: You need more story. This happens more often for seat-of-the-pants writers than plotters, but even plotters can reach a lull when the action or romantic drama needs help from a subplot to thicken the stew. Ask yourself: What can come along to blindside your characters? What’s the worst thing they fear? Make it happen. Often writers concoct a thrilling opening and know exactly how to bring their story to a tasty conclusion. They might even have some plot twists in mind, but in long novels, not even the most devout “plotter” can pre-conceive enough scenes to keep the pace moving. Go where it’s quiet, where you can roll your eyes back into your head. Suddenly story ideas will flow faster than you can jot down on your Starbucks napkin.

I’ll give you reason number two next week…until then, stay warm!!!

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