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Hitting the Wall

April 10, 2012

Trying to climb out of my writing slump after hitting the wall. I didn’t want to admit it, but I hit the wall, just like I always do. On the first three novels I wrote, it was at 20-25K words. So since I had already passes 30K, had an outline and plenty of resources, I felt pretty confident that I simply wasn’t going to hit the wall.

I was very wrong.

But at the same time, sorta right. I did hit the wall as far as lack of motivation to write, questioning why I write at all when it is so hard and no one cares. I even ate tons of junk food. But the difference between the last three books and this one is that I have not lost faith in it. I am not finishing to finish; so I can ignore the bleeding draft without any nagging guilt. I still have confidence that this is the one. The one that I will submit and that will be accepted. Once I finish.

What really crippled me on this one was the research. My characters were leaving the camp and heading into the nearest village. My main character had never seen a village before and had no idea what to expect. The problem was, neither did I. I panicked and flew into research and quick re-outlining. I wrote a bit more and then fell into despair about the hard life of a writer.

I’ve now had the time to think things through and realize that the thing must be written. I can do the research later.

What I’ve discovered while writing this book is that I write very exploratory first drafts but that I also require an outline to know where I am going. I remember someone on Writing Excuses describing this process as lamp-posting. You can see the next lamppost through the fog but you’re not quite sure about all the stuff in between. It’s working very well except for the panic attacks about research.

Just yesterday, I realized I might have to research for days or weeks for a two page scene. And the scene is so simple no one would ever realize all the work that had gone into it. Maddening.

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