22 hours ago
Friday, March 5, 2010
As I mentioned before, I'm working on a romantic suspense set in the Republic of Congo. I finished chapters six and seven last week, leaving my hero and heroine caught by the warlord chasing them. I knew what I wanted to happen at the end, but I was stuck trying to figure out how to get from the end of chapter seven to the end.
Monday, I sat in front of the computer, trying to sling some words down but no matter what I wrote, it wasn't right. I was at a loss. So what to do? My first instinct is to email my blue diamond buddy, Rachel, and get some input. We've been working together on this submission call. I've helped her with Ring of Lies. She's helped me with Blood Diamond. Remember that technical difficulty I mentioned yesterday? Yeah, no internet. So no asking for help until yesterday.
So, no ideas, no avenue for help. What's a writer to do? Take a break, of course. I put my manuscript aside. I read a couple of books I've bought recently. I watched some TV shows. I basically did just about anything but work on Blood Diamond. Then this morning in the shower, I had a breakthrough.
As I'm shampooing my hair, I'm thinking about how my heroine is a doctor, dedicated to saving lives and helping those less fortunate. Yeah, those damn characters just won't leave me alone until I tell their story. I thought about what she could do that would torture her…er…I mean, let her grow and help them get out of their situation. Then I thought about another seed I'd sown in another chapter, and an idea started to form. Enough of one, anyway, that some quality time with my manuscript will help flesh it out.
So, the moral of the story, when I'm stuck and I can't work through it right away, the best thing I can do is step away completely. My subconscious will do the heavy lifting.
What do you do when you're stuck?