Friday, January 14, 2011

Do You Want Pickles With That?

I did a blog before on what you do when you get bogged down on your WIP.  Since then I've whittled down the suggestions and made some more specific and others more general.  So what should you do when the words won't go on the page?

#One: Step away for a littlet bit and work on another project.  Or even read a book by an author you would like to emulate.  See what they're doing right that you want to do also.

#Two Go back to the beginning and find why you were excited to start the project in the first place.  How did you let your interesting characters become dull?

#Three Check out your outline of the plot.  Was it thorough enough or are you stumbling because you left a hole in it.
#Four Read over what you wrote and take notes where the manuscript is weak and doesn't work.
#5 Just pound the keys and push through sometimes works.
#6  What I do when I get really stuck is add pickle.  Cause trouble for your characters, complicate the solution or make their current situation worse.
In my latest release, Beyond the Gate, I wanted my characters to discover this peaceful wonderful part of their world but peace can be boring in a fantasy book.  So I sent some demons to force the characters to not only defend themselves but come to some hard decisions in the aftermath.  A big pickle.
So what kind of pickle do you add to your story to keep the plot moving forward? What do you do when you get stuck or lose enthusiasm for a project?


  1. I add Hot Tamales! Similar to a pickle, only like being in hot water and unable to breathe.

  2. Excellent advice, Susan :D Quite often I just type away and see how things go, though I am a fan of careful planning. The kind of pickles I've added in the past usually involves magic suddenly activating when it shouldn't i.e. someone with a gift for prophecy who is supposedly dead gets placed onto a funeral pyre, only for them to scream out a portion of a final prophecy before the flames consume them.

  3. Good visual, Alex, LOL
    I've caught myself doing that, Jamie.

  4. An excellent list of suggestions. I found myself today wandering over to look at a different project in a different genre, just to change things up and let my mind focus on something else for a while.

  5. Good suggestion, Haleine. Sometimes the mind just needs to be distracted.

  6. I have stripped mine and thrown it a bone. It has enough pickles.

    Good post :)

  7. "I wanted my characters to discover this peaceful wonderful part of their world but peace can be boring in a fantasy book".
    I'm guessing most people would say that's true, but I just don't want to believe it. I would like to read a book in which positive aspect would dominate, sharing goodness, spreading love etc. But I'm guessing that would end up being an Elven book :)