Monday, October 24, 2011


It shouldn’t be this hard. I’ve done it before—four times, seven if I count re-writes. So why can’t I finish this damn book?
My usual strategies—self-imposed deadlines and hours of WRITE OR DIE—have failed to get the WIP to the end. What’s the matter?
I know where I’m going, but my conscious has lost faith that my sub-conscious knows how to get there. Plotters will shake their heads and tell me I should have worked this all out from the beginning. That, however, isn’t how my process works. Sure, I started with a premise and even wrote a preliminary synopsis.  Unfortunately, my characters took off in their own directions. Now when they need to wrap this story up, they’re still surprising me with twists and turns that create more dire problems I have to work out! Come on, guys, give me a break! Quit getting in worse trouble, behave, get along. Work out your differences, foil the bad guy—let me finish this damn book!!!
So any advice? I'd love to hear how other writers wrangle their WIPs into submission!


Anonymous said...

Do something mindless, repetitive, or meditative. Go for a walk, do the dishes, having a shower always works for me when I'm stuck. Crocheting.
James Scott Bell recommends writing a letter to yourself or just brainstorm possiblities.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Lark,
I feel your pain. Fear of failure trips me up toward the end of every manuscript. Here's a thoughtful and funny post on fear of writing (my affliction)from Milli Thornton:

Lark Howard said...

Thanks, comingalive. I appreciate the suggestions. I'm sure this too will pass...just wish it would be quick about it!

Lark Howard said...

Thanks for the link, Pat. Interesting post. I'm still trying to figure out if I'm suffering from angst or just confusion. Or maybe I'm just getting lazy. Self-motivation is REALLY hard!!!

Sarah Andre said...

Brainstorm with a CP (LOL!)
What stops me cold is lack of research (hate it), so therefore I lack all the interesting things...say, a PI could choose to do in a given situation.

Lark Howard said...

I'm taking you up on the brainstorming with CP, Sarah!! If that doesn't work, you get to use the whip.

Alana Saltz said...

Sometimes taking a little time away can help you get new ideas and perspective on the story. I've never been able to finish a novel all the way through from an outline...the two I finished had almost no pre-planning whatsoever. It took longer, but it's hard for me to see the scope of a story before I start it. Good luck!