So there you are, NaNo target or deadline just hours off – and your muse has disappeared so fast you can’t even see a patch of dust on the horizon.
One of the challenges writers face is that problem of forcing the stuff out even when the inspiration to write has decided to take a holiday on Mars.
What do you do? Other than run around in circles shouting ‘I’m a teapot’?
There are all kinds of tricks to nudge that inspiration back into action – taking a break for twenty minutes and doing something else, like going for a walk or getting some housework done. But what happens when those tactics don’t work either?
The key to all of them is to analyse why you’ve dried up – work the problem, then tackle it. And sometimes, brute force is the only answer. Try these:
- Is it because you’re simply flat out of enthusiasm? It’s become a chore? Tough. Writing isn’t a fun pastime. Push through – keep writing.
- Are you stuck because your ideas have dried up? Go back to your plan. Er – you DO have a plan, don’t you – and look it over. Is there anything else you can write in the story, then backfill?
- Have you worked your writing into a corner? Got stuck on plot? Go back to the plan (yes, THAT plan) and see where it went adrift. Is it to do with character arc, plot narrative, or something else? Luckily, NaNo is purely about words-to-time, which is an important skill of itself. Bash through anyway and finish it – you can revise later (and I’ll be outlining how).
Do these techniques work for you? How do you tackle those ‘stuck’ moments?
Copyright ©Matthew Wright 2014