Getting Unstuck

I had to laugh as I opened WordPress to write this post that its title will be following one called Inertia. While the subjects are variations on a theme, the topic matter is very different.

My novel writing has suffered during the pandemic. I used to have a writing routine involving going to a mom and pop deli near my old office three mornings a week. I would put exact change on the counter, fill my self-serve soda, sit down at my table, and the words flowed. They were always there. That was my writing spot. Over the last six months I’ve had to find a new place/time/mindset, but I’m finally settling back into it.

Right now I’m writing new scenes for my second novel. As I was finishing up my fifth round of revisions, I realized that my main character felt like a stereotype. So I changed protagonist. Now I am in the middle of creating the scenes between my protagonist and antagonist.

At first, I got stuck. I was putting the couple scenes I was able to write interspersed with the existing material, but couldn’t figure out how to go from there. I also found myself more and more willing to sacrifice my morning writing time to other pursuits. Nope. This is too important to me.

Once I realized I could write my new scenes isolated from the framework that I already have in place, the words started flowing again. Right now I’m writing a scene from my protagonist’s point of view. She has no idea where the conversion with the antagonist is headed. Neither do I! It actually makes her inner dialogue much easier to write. And it’s surprising to both of us when the antagonist starts leading the conversation. I love being a pantser!

I’m really liking the story (and backstory) that is developing. I can’t believe how different the current version is from what my beta readers experienced last year. And I’m so grateful I figured out how to keep my momentum going even without my favorite table at the deli. I even finished another notebook! I thank them for their service as I retire them to the bookshelf.

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