Vanquish Five Unpleasant Moments of Writing
a WGT Guest Article by Mother Wilson
I write because I love to. It makes me happy and life is too short to not do what you love. But like a marriage, not every moment is pleasant. Many of them are downright miserable. Over the years, I've developed some strategies to cope with those moments.
Moment #1 – You hate your protagonist.
Familiarity breeds contempt. It's trite but true. Are you too close to your character or is your character too close to your own personality? The easiest thing to do is stop writing for about 20 minutes and walk around the block. For me, 20 minutes may not be enough. I often need 20 days away from the project entirely.
Another way to keep your book moving forward is to delve deeper into other characters' back stories. Even if you don't intend to include them in your manuscript, it will add substance to your plot.
Moment #2 – You've come to a fork in the road.
What next? Personally, this issue drives me crazy. To deal with it, I make a list of every possible path I can think of. Then I narrow it down to two or three options and write a few paragraphs about each one. Usually, the choice becomes obvious.
Another method is to plot the story backwards. What events need to happen to get to a logical and satisfying end?
Moment #3 – Are you repeating yourself yourself yourself?
Word search is the best tool. Also, I like to make sure my scenes are named with what happens — not just Chapter 1, Scene 1. Then I look through my directory for scenes with similar names. Reading the whole manuscript works for me, too, as long as I make notes as I go along so I don't get confused (again).
Moment #4 – The middle sags.
Ask yourself what events keep you interested in a story. The more you read, the clearer it will become. Use your favorite authors' patterns as inspiration.
Moment #5 – The ending eludes you.
Don't make yourself crazy. Write something — anything. Set the project aside for at least a week. When you come back to it, write the synopsis (if you haven't already). Get someone to look at the synopsis to see if it makes sense. If not, choose another path.
Whatever you do, don't give up!
ABOUT MOTHER WILSON
Mother Wilson is a writing coach and editor. She is a published picture book writer and illustrator, a manager at FreshFiction.com and a personal assistant to award winning romance author, Kathy Lyons.
Her career in publishing and marketing goes back more than 20 years. She's been a features editor and graphic designer at a major American newspaper and a marketing director for schools and universities in London, England. She's a dual US-UK citizen and can write in American, British, Australian and Kiwi English.
Mother Wilson is the pseudonym for Barbara Evertz Wilson. She lives in Wylie, TX with her two fur babies, Sparky and Daisy. She enjoys coaching writers and finds joy in seeing them succeed.