Hit Another Wall in Talyn

In a book that will end up being 1200 manuscript pages long, there are going to be some walls. I know this. I’ve already written two 90,000-word novels in this book, and I have most of a third to go. But for Talyn to choose now to stall out on me … cruel. I’m in the final third of the book. It’s supposed to be the homestretch. It’s supposed to be that downhill gallop. And instead, I’m pacing in circles and asking myself question after question looking for the one answer that will kick this thing loose again. NOT having fun.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

7 comments… add one
  • Gabriele Oct 10, 2003 @ 12:33

    Well, it might be a bit audacious of an aspiring writer who works on several novel projects, but has only finished a dozen short stories so far (but then, I began writing on a "professional" level only eight months ago) to give an advice, or rather, to share an experience here. But I’ll do it anyway. LOL

    What I did already when I wrote non-fiction and got stuck on my PhD or those blasted Picts, and what still works most of the time, is to go out for a long walk, bicycle ride, or skiing tour (me living in the very outskirts of a medium-sized town, and close to nature). I clear my mind from anything like stubborn, misbehaving MCs and twisted plots ending up in a corner, and concentrate on the world around me: the gentle breeze in my hair, the movements of my legs when I ride a bicycle, the butterfly landing on a flower, the trees before me coming closer as I walk on, and the sunlight shimmering in the leaves, the storm bending the golden grain, the shapes of the clouds looming in the west, the rain in my face, the smell of wet earth and ripe apples, the sound of crusted snow under my skies. I take these in with all my senses, I let the smells, sounds, visions into my brain and think of nothing.

    In most cases, after some time, a tiny little thought will creep forth, flickering between all the other things inhabiting my brain. I don’t shoo it away, but I don’t encourage it, either. I simply wait what the little firefly will do; still inhaling the sweet scent of spring flowers and listening to the sound of my steps on dry leaves.

    Often, the firefly will grow into an oscillating soap bubble, nagging just a bit, begging to be taken serious: I then will reach out for it, allowing it into my conscious awareness, and, loo, there is the idea I needed.

    It doesn’t work every time; sometimes the firefly will not show up, but then I still had a good long walk, and sometimes the soap bubble will explode into nothing, in which case I’ll swim in the nearby lake, or come home with a few branches with leaves in the fiery colours of autum, or the memory of the lauging little girl who managed to hit me with a snowball.

    Those hours are never lost.

  • Brady Oct 9, 2003 @ 13:14

    Ouch. Sympathies. That stuff always happens when you think you’re home free.

  • Lonnie Oct 9, 2003 @ 12:49

    Hey Holly, I know how frustrating this must be, and you have my sympathies. I recently got through one of my own walls, and I know that you will, and will do it in a way that will be pleasure (or chills, whichever) to both yourself and your faithful readers. In times like these I found David Morrell’s advice of writing out a dialogue with yourself, keeping asking why? why? why? until you find yourself in a richer spot than you were before, and one with answers… Can’t wait to see the final product!!!

  • Joel Oct 9, 2003 @ 12:39

    I’m performing a "summon sugar" dance to conjure up lumps of sugar for the reluctant "horse" you’re riding to encourage it to gallop faster as you enter the third stretch of your writing.

  • Linda Sprinkle Oct 9, 2003 @ 10:20

    Sympathies. But, as Peggy said, you’ve been here before and you’ve worked it out. You will this time, too. I hope, for your peace of mind, it happens sooner rather than later. 🙂

  • Peggy Kurilla Oct 9, 2003 @ 7:41

    Hugs! I have confidence that you’ll work your way through this. How many times have you posted something like this, and then a day or two later your subconscious hands you a better solution than you thought possible?

    Now, if we can just remind your subconscious that you’re on a deadline and politely ask it to work a little faster….

  • Alex Oct 9, 2003 @ 5:56

    Holly, you have my sympathy. I’ve only just managed to get myself out of one of these holes–and it took me nearly a week. I can imagine how much of a nightmare it must be for someone who writes for a living.

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