Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wicked Wednesday - when things get tough

You have this fantastic idea. It's shiny and beautiful. You can't wait to start writing. But it won't come out right. The words just aren't flowing. This idea, it needs to be shared. It won't leave you alone.

When things get tough...

Flopping down onto the ground and crying can help release some of the stress. So can eating a tub of ice cream. Though your stomach will hate you for it.

My current WIP is tough. I haven't nailed the protagonist's voice and I'm over halfway through. I know her two sisters very well (and they'll be the protagonists of the next novellas), and her hero is so much fun to write. I don't have a title for the book or the series yet. And yes, that is bothering me much more than it should. There are so many things I need to set up in this first story, I hope I'm doing it smoothly.

I want it to be awesome. The story deserves my best. No. Better than my best. I have to push myself further.

My anxiety is even higher because I put aside the previous novel I started earlier this year because it was tough. Though the problem with that one was different than this.

So now here I am tackling an even bigger project. It's intimidating. But that makes me want to go for it even more.

What do you do when things get tough?

(Sidenote: This photo of my son is of the first time I set him in a pile of leafs. Clearly he didn't like it. Nowadays, if there is a pile of leafs, I can't keep him out of it!)


  1. Sorry this WIP has been so tough for you! I can relate with some of my own projects. Not sure why some end up being more of a headache than others, but they are. And I'm so with you when it comes to titles. I always have the hardest time progressing with a project until I know what to call it! Hopefully this WIP will start going more smoothly for you soon, or that the next one will at least be not quite as frustrating!

  2. I'm in the same boat at the moment. My current WIP is kicking my butt. Right now, I'm just putting my bum in the chair and writing my way out of it. Hopefully that works. Best of luck to you!

  3. Hi Christine - it's a great photo - poor lad swamped in dead leaves ... now he could be very afraid and he'd find it tough to get out of. Taking time out helps me - get away from a tough situation - even just changing up what I'm doing .. then suddenly things start falling into place - not autumnal leaves though! Cheers Hilary

  4. We don't challenge ourselves, we don't grow.
    Maybe the voice will come through stronger when you start editing.

  5. Gosh, the only answer I have for you is the exact one I've been struggling with myself - just forge ahead. Push yourself through it, despite the doubt and frustration. Easier said than done. Yeah. When I originally wrote my YA that will be released next fall I had tons of ideas for the sequel and book III. But since I sat down over a month ago to continue the story nothing seems to come out right. I'm back at the drawing board, trying to decide on a new main plot. Best of luck with pushing forward. I'll be thinking of you as I try to do the same.

  6. I've learned from experience that no matter how tough a manuscript gets, if you persevere you'll find the solutions to turn it into a great book. The solutions do exist, you just need a lot of patience and hard work and sometimes bad writing. But never ever give up. The book will turn out fine eventually.

  7. I've been in a similar situation. Hang in there, keep challenging yourself - you will do this!

    And I love the photo! :)

  8. I'm having a hard time with my WIP, too. Maybe there's something in the air. I haven't tried the ice cream thing yet, so I think that's my next step.

    Like Madeline said, hang in there. You can do this!

  9. Cute picture of your son!

    When things get tough for me, I sit and think. I play out scenarios in my mind and try to figure out why it's so hard. I wonder what I'm missing.

    :) I suppose I'm not very productive when things get tough.

    Best of luck working through the voice with your writing!

  10. When things get tough, I try to remember that this is just a first draft. It is not a polished publishable piece of writing. Anything that is there can be rewritten and fixed. :)

  11. Sometimes I have trouble finding a character's voice until I get halfway through and then I fix the start in the 2nd draft. Good luck with the project.

  12. That picture is adorable!

    I completely hear you. I'm 30K into one story and still trying to get my protagonist to really speak like she should. It will happen, I'm sure, but getting there can be so tough.

    What do I do when things get tough? Read a book (or 3) that inspires me in the same genre.

  13. I think we shoot ourselves in the foot when we decide something must be amazing. It's too much pressure. Decide to write crap. It's much easier ;)

    That's funny about the leaves. My son still doesn't believe us that he was terrified of Yoda. We should have filmed it, so he couldn't call us fibbers.

  14. When a big project is wearing me down, I go do something short just to get the creativity flowing again. Like, if one pipe is stopped up, go to another pipe and maybe you can shoot some of the water from that pipe into the blocked one and get a trickle out of it. (Terrible analogy. Sorry.)

  15. Hang in there. Hopefully, the title comes to you and it will be brilliant. (And if it does, want to figure out my titles too. ^_~) Just like the story!

  16. Sorry to hear about your troubles. I'm at a similar place myself and have decided to just set it aside this month and work on some shorts instead. Maybe when I come back, I'll have all these wonderful ideas to make it flow again.
    Love your son's face! Mine had horrible fear of slides for years.

  17. Heather, I finally have a series title but not one for the novella. I have titles for the next two novellas though! =P

    TBM, that's exactly what I did today. Wrote some intense action and felt great! :)

    Hilary, I took a bit of time to clean and do laundry. That always helps me too.

    Alex, exactly! I hope so.

    SA, thanks and good luck with your story too!

    Mac, you should have seen how ticked off he was that we made him take a hike in the woods this weekend. He thought it was boring!

    Vanessa and Madeline, thank you.

  18. MJ, ice cream helps for a moment! Just don't let any lizards steal it.

    Loni, thanks! I do a lot of thinking myself. Keeps me up at night!

    Cherie, you know of my perfectionist tendencies, though! *LOL*

    Susan, thank you!

    Crystal, reading always inspires me too.

    Elizabeth, that's it exactly. I want the best and this is really only the first draft. Still, I am my own worst boss!

    M, I got it even if it was kind of bad! *LOL*

    Patricia, I'll eventually just have to ask my writer's group for titles! *LOL*

    Tonja, my little guy didn't like the closed in slides for the longest time as well.

  19. Want to trade?

    First, I whine. Then I send a rambling email to a friend. Then I ramble at Husband Unit. If I don't figure it out by then, I take a lot of showers.

  20. Ooh, that's tough. I've been through it for sure. Sometimes I do creative visualization meditations and picture scenes. Other times I have to let a project rest for a couple of months. Or if I write through it, it may well sort itself out.

  21. Their are several things that work for me. Walk away, do something mundane like paint the living room. Read a book. Give your mind a rest and the character that's evading you will pop up and amaze you.
    Give yourself a list of questions you need answered, think of them before you fall asleep, and wake up with the answers. LOL Honest, it works!
    Good luck, but something tells me that after writing this blog, things started to become clearer!
    I hope so, good luck!

  22. So sorry to hear that and if it's any consolation, we've all been there battling characters that refuse to come out of hiding or stories that won't come together as we picture them in our heads.

    When I get stuck, I go back to my plotting for the characters and relook at his inner / outer conflicts as that always helps me really get into their heads more if I can get a feel for their emotional state. And I also talk about it to everyone..hehe As that eventually does the trick:)

  23. Mary, *LOL* Showers definitely help.

    Catherine, I pushed through! :)

    Yolanda, I'll have to try the sleeping questions one!

    Tania, sometimes they just don't want to cooperate. I need to get a cat so I can talk to it about stories! :)


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