Last week I wrote about getting stuck in the middle, and today kind of goes along with that a bit. The thing about a writer is that nothing is static. You’re always growing, evolving, and in through that your process usually changes, adapts, evolves as well.
My new way of dealing with the stuck in the middle (and any other stuck) within my current WIP is to skip around a little.
When I first started writing, I rarely wrote in sequence. I wrote the beginning, then went ahead and wrote any scenes that popped into my head. I always figured I’d go back and fill in the blanks later. Guess what? I never did.
When I finally finished my first complete novel, I stuck to the steadfast rule that I would NOT do this, no skipping around, no scene writing. Maybe jot a few notes about the scene so I wouldn’t forget, but no actually writing of it.
I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can break this steadfast rule a little. Since I am mostly a plotter (though a flexible one), I usually know the plot points that are going to happen in a chapter. Sometimes they change, but usually the basic elements of the chapter are put into place before I begin to write. So, within the chapter, I allow myself to skip around. If some dialogue pops into my head for the end of the chapter, I add a few empty lines, and write that dialogue. I never let myself go beyond the chapter I’m working on (with the exception of the jotting of notes for future chapters), so I always do go back and fill in those blanks.
It’s a slippery slope. I find myself thinking, oh I could just go write the end and… But I know that would result in even more getting stuck. So it has to stay one chapter at a time for now.
This has really helped me get through the middle sections where I lag.
(Happy NaNo all participants! You can keep up with my progress on the NaNo site or eharlequin, user name for both: NTHelm).