This post originally appeared in the Crime Readers' Association when I was *Featured Author* in March. As the readership of CRA is limited, I thought I'd share it here:
Lack of Engagement with the Project
You know that feeling – you sit at your keyboard and can’t get started (suddenly finding emails, other people’s blogs, washing up etc, far more compelling). Consider the following. Does the idea of the story light you up or make you feel heavy?
I’m pleased to say, this has only happened to me once. I had to sit back and ask myself what was wrong. Had I lost interest in a character, got bored with the turns the story had taken - or was I fed up with writing altogether? I knew it wasn’t the latter, but when I thought about it, several problems hit me about the plot. It felt too fussy and one section felt ‘added-on’. I was finding one aspect of the story tedious and I needed one of the characters to be less wish-washy and far more definite about something.
If the plot is clunky – go through your outline and highlight each ‘plot-point’ – that is, each point in the story where something major happens to influence the direction. Then decide whether each one is:
· Fresh and unpredictable
· Enough of a twist
· DramaticIf you have doubts, brainstorm at least five new directions, for example:
· The gardener is her brother, but she doesn’t know it
· The gardener is her brother, but he doesn’t know it
· The gardener is her father
· The gardener is the next victim – why?
· The gardener has had a sex-change
Follow each of them through in your mind – do they excite you? Then find a sixth option!
If you find you’re not compelled to write anything at all and nothing excites you – perhaps you need a break from it. Take off as much time as you need from it. Read instead or go for long walks. Tell yourself – no writing – for however many days and see how it feels. We all need time to switch off and refill our ‘creative well’.
If you enjoyed this post, PLEASE SHARE it using the buttons below. Thank you!
Both books went to Number One in 'Murder' and 'Psychological Thrillers' in the UK Kindle charts.
The Crime Readers' Association is well worth joining - it's FREE - lots of info about Authors!