| Every writer 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. 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.
The second problem we sometimes experience is the haven’t-I-said-all-this-before-syndrome. We’ve got our story; we’ve got our multi-dimensional characters. But we’re trotting out the same old metaphors and tired verbs. It’s time to get away to someone else’s creative work that’s not in the genre you write. Read a book by a writer whose work you admire to see how they craft a story. No time to read a full novel? Go to a movie, again one with a screenplay by someone you love. Sit back, sip your soda, munch your popcorn and enjoy. I’ve been known to utter things like: What a delightful black moment, much to my husband’s dismay. The key is getting away from yourself. Then when you return to your work-in-progress, the well will be primed with fresh creative waters.
Archive for January, 2017
Suspense Sister Marji Laine has another terrific review on our book page. Iola Goulton reviews BURIED MEMORIES by Carol J. Post. Iola says, “The plot and writing were excellent, and I resented each time I had to leave Nicki and Tyler and Cedar Key because life or children or work or food. Buried Memories is part of Carol Post’s Cedar Key series, but can easily be read as a standalone novel. Overall, an excellent suspense read.” You can read the rest of her review HERE.
On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s
Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.
On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard. She’ll be giving away a copy of her book,UNDERCOVER PROTECTOR.
Friday, we’re interviewing author Ronie Kendig! You could win a copy of her new book, CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE!
Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole “Tox” Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that’s fine–he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.
Tox and his former Special Forces team regroup to work with
FBI deception expert, Kasey Cortes, and fiery archaeologist, Tzivia Khalon, to search the globe for answers–and a cure. As the mission leads from one continent to another, it becomes clear they’re not just fighting a plague but battling an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.
With time running out and the threat for a global pandemic rising, Tox and his team realize their sole chance might be to reach back through centuries of silence to find the only answer that can save them all.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GET IT RIGHT?
A brand New Year…a frightening reminder of our mortality and what lies ahead? Or another wonderful chance to maybe get it right this year.
For each of us, getting it right will have a very different connotation.
For some, it’ll be to lose those nagging twenty pounds, find a better job that pays more, or maybe forge a better relationship with children, grandchildren or a spouse.
For me, a Christian who has tried all of those before with varying levels of success, my only goal for the coming year is to forge a closer relationship with God.
At my ripe old age, I’ve finally realized I can do nothing without His help. I have tried to use my wit, my intellect, my talents, and my abundant charm to achieve my dreams. But all of those have failed me.
Only when I start the day in communication with the Lord, and then quietly listen to what He has to say, do I succeed.
We’re all so busy, and maybe that’s how life is supposed to be. But each night during 2017 I want to lay my head on the pillow and give thanks that I am not running in circles on a path to oblivion.
I am His child, and He has a plan for me. I am so thankful!
I certainly wish I’d gotten this through my thick head as a younger woman.
Happy New Year and May God bless you in 2017.
PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
—Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi