I have been working on my current manuscript for close to a year now. Things have been relatively easy, the words flowing, the ideas coming, my characters behaving. I have LOVED writing this book!
Until recently, that is.
I have been in the death throes of this novel since July, writing ‘the last two chapters’ for what seems like a small eternity. The darn thing has been like taffy, stretching and stretching with no end in sight.
At long last, I have reached the last two chapters. No, really. This time I mean it. Halfway through the penultimate chapter, I have growing confidence that I will finish this book before it finishes me.
What has been the problem? Fear of finishing? Fear of failure? Sun spots? Life, the universe and everything? I do not know. I only know that it has been a struggle, my usual 1500 words a day dwindling to 250, sometimes less. No, it’s not that I don’t know where the story is going or what is supposed to happen in the last two chapters. It is something else. I won’t call it writer’s block, more like writer’s paralysis. I am past it now, thank goodness. But, it has made me wonder if any of you have faced a similar crisis in your writing. Been working on a sweet little darling of a manuscript only to have it morph into an unruly, out-of-control teenager complete with an attitude, raging hormones and growing pains?
So, I ask the same question Gwen did a few days ago. How do you get yourself unstuck? My answer came when I realized I was worrying too much about the mechanics of the action that takes place in Chapter 34 instead of concentrating on the emotions of the characters. Once I had that Eureka! moment, I was able to break free of the ice that surrounded me on all sides.
She said bravely from the middle of Chapter 34.