Posted by: Sarah | July 30, 2009

Writer’s Block

I’m about 20,000 words from finishing my first novel. This is NOT my first novel ever. Just the first one I’ll have finished. My problem? I have no idea how to finish it. The cursor sits there on the page, blinking at me, mocking me. My first two novles, I got bogged down in the middle and felt inadequate as a writer to finish. But then, I was trying to run before I could walk and write an epic. I probably WAS inadequate to the task.

This novel is different. It’s just an adventure story. It is a Grail Quest, but so far, not as religiously toned as most of those types of quests. (And it’s not for the mythical real world grail, either.) For a rough draft, it’s all right. It needs some MAJOR revisions and perhaps some serious plastic surgery.

For instance, one of my characters wants a gun and frankly, it’s a medieval fantasy novel; usually guns are out of place. Hello? You’re not Han Solo, genius. You’ve already talked me out of killing you and into giving you a chance at the heroine, don’t push your luck.

My main heroine wants the story to be in first person. I’m not sure if it should be since I also have viewpoints solely expressed by my two main heroes. I can do without them, but is it laziness on my part, trying to write the heroine as myself? Since, you know, that’s easier? Is she THAT egocentric? Would it be better for the novel to be in the first person? Will I lose the guy readers I would otherwise gain, or would it matter since I’m pretty sure my men don’t really sound like men.

My villain is ridiculously hard to characterize without going to a place in my head I really don’t like visiting all that often. Let’s just say it’s below even the gutter and nasty evil things lurk in there. But in order to make him really stand out in that lurking nightmarish Darth Vader/Ba’alzamon fashion, I’m going to have wallow down there for a time. Hope I don’t go all Method and get stuck in psychoville.

And do I really need all the supporting characters I have? Some of them are just standing around. I guess that means despite my liking them, they probably need to go.

And yes. It helps to talk directly to the characters some times. Like they’re imaginary friends. Which I guess, they are.

I’m at the final fight. How the heck do I wind up to it? Where does it need to happen? What do I want out of it? What do my characters want out of it? Who dies, does anyone? What happens to the bad guy? Should I just line them up against each other like the OK Corral, a tumbleweed blowing through the middle of the scene?

Sometimes, Writer’s Block is difficult to rescue yourself from.


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