April 19th, 2008


getting unstuck

I wrote the opening chapter of my newly reconstructed novel and then slammed into a brick wall. Where do I go from here? Yes, I like the opening chapter as it introduces many of the main players and foreshadows a key event, but I realized I didn't know what to do next.

So, I mulled the story in my head for a while to try and figure out what to do. The one good thing about being stuck is the timing. Since I am in the middle of getting ready to relocate back to New York there really hasn't been much writing time available. So, its not like being stuck has wasted away lots of writing time.

Well, I tried a new tactic: pick up some of my favorite novels from the bookshelf and read the first two chapters to see how these authors moved from their opening chapter into the rest of the story. This is where I am stuck. I know what happens in the book. I finally figured out the new opening chapter, but I didn't know how to get from the new opening to the rest of the new story.

And then it finally hit me. There was one major character that was not in the opening chapter. So, naturally, her introduction - and the main protagonist's relationship to her - would serve as the perfect bridge into the rest of the story and actually get things moving along.

So, now I know how to proceed. The only problem is tomorrow morning we are getting in the car and driving 1200 miles so it will be a while before I can sit down at a computer again. Oh well. At least I can spend my non-driving time in the car sketching out the scene in my mind.