Novice to Novel: Part 8 – Back On The Horse

As the sage of our times, Logic, says, “I was gone for a minute but I’m back now.” I am finally back and writing again. Here are some stats for you all:

Words Written This Week: 9,535

Total Words in the Novel: 73,830

Number of Chapters: 34

Version 3, Rough Draft

Now that I have the good news out of the way, here is what happened. I got the dreaded writer’s block. Can you believe it? Well, you don’t really know me so I am sure you can but I didn’t think it could happen to me.

But I have an outline!

But I have my chapters spaced out and the plot set down!

But I know my characters and backstory and where they are headed!

What happened?!

Well, let me tell you what happened. Sex happened. In particular, I decided that my novel needed a sex scene. Not only was I writing the climax of my plot but I was writing the climaxes of two of my characters and let me tell you what, I was terrified.

There are things that I am fluent at writing and then there are things that I am merely comfortable writing. Writing a sex scene was neither of those things. I didn’t know what to do. My novel needed a sex scene and I am not the author to do it. I do not read romance novels nor do I have the inkling to. But no one else can write it or it won’t feel like my book. What was I to do? I was stuck.

That is where I have been for the last 4 months. Stuck! It was terrible and I feel like I wasted so much time that I will never get back. I finally made it out of my writer’s funk this week (it has only been a week so take this advice with a grain of salt). So here is my advice on how to get out of a writer’s funk:

  1. Don’t just sit there and think it will come to you. It won’t. There is a reason that you are stuck and cannot write. Figure out what is holding you back and attack the problem before you lose momentum. When I got stuck I did not know what to do and started to get complacent. Then I discovered Pokemon Rom Hacks and my life became all about catching them all. I was lost in Johto with no way back to reality.
  2. Seek Help. I kept banging my head against the wall and did not know what to do. I had a bunch of ideas and all of them felt bad. I didn’t know how to moderate them. Then I found some writer friends at work that really helped me out by letting me bounce ideas off them. That was such a huge blessing. Nothing sparks creativity like sharing your ideas with like-minded creative types. I practically could not wait to get home to write after talking to these lovely people about my novel.
  3. Take your problems and smash them to pieces. This one took a long time for me to figure out. I actually learned this in therapy but did not think to apply it to writing. What I ended up doing was I broke the scene down into parts and I wrote the parts that I felt competent enough to write. Then I did some research on writing romance by watching Youtube Videos and reading articles online. I started to get an idea of what I wanted to do but did not know how to execute it. The breakthrough for me came from finding a plethora of examples of sex scenes and coming to the realization that there were a million different ways to write them. Each one was different and some were definitely better than others in my opinion. I picked through the ones that I liked and figured out why I liked them. I took that information and adapted it into my scene and with my narrative voice! Then Voila! I had a sex scene!

I should have not stopped writing. I should have asked others for advice. I should have broken it into smaller pieces so it was a bunch of tiny hills to climb, not one large mountain.

The funniest part about it was that it was actually really easy to write once I had done all of the things I mentioned above. Once I knew what I wanted to do and how to do it the story wrote itself. I sat down and the words flowed out like I was just copying them from a book in my head. This was one of my most productive writing weeks ever!

I am just hoping that I can keep this going. I will do my best to not lose momentum. I already know how to proceed from here so I am hoping to keep this up. I also want to update you all more on my progress and some of the cool places I have been.

I will be gone for a little bit though. I have a vacation coming up at the end of September. My wife and I are going with some friends up to Yellowstone National Park for a week. I am so excited and I can’t wait to make a post about it and tell you all how it went.

Until next time.

~Chris Joy

Categories: Novice to NovelTags: , ,

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