Road Block in Writing

Hey all!  It was nice to go out with friends yesterday and enjoy a nice margarita.  Especially after an obnoxious Girl Scout meeting in which I found out that the lovely online registration form was going to be going into a database where I have no control over anything except reports to THEN be put into a little Access Database.  An hour of dealing with idiots.  I earned my margarita.

My friend and I have started a critique group on deviantART that mainly focuses on writing, but will eventually get to art critique.  We are called Censurae Gravissime, come check us out. Critique will likely be harsh, but honest.  Maybe not for the faint of heart, definitely for those who want scathing critique so they can improve!

Today’s Post

So, I consider a road block different than writer’s block.  It happens to me often.  I know what I want to write, I know how to write it, and I know where the writing will take me.  However, there’s something sitting in the middle of the writing ‘road’ blocking me from finishing.  Its frustrating, especially when you’re getting to end of something.  This is going to be a me ranting post for a bit.  ***I’m writing spoilers about my own work, you can look if you want, not like they’re published, but still, spoiler warning!***I usually don’t delve too far into my personal writing.  You know songs that go with certain characters, which could be considered spoilerific.  You know that I’ve been working on Prior Lives since NaNoWriMo started.  Prior Lives isn’t the only novel that has thrown me into a “road block”.  Opus Aria did it too.

How did these novels block you?

We’ll start with Opus Aria because that one blocked me for months.  No lie.  I was getting close to the end and I knew exactly what I had to do.  However, the gravity of what I had to do to her made me freeze up entirely.  It took me three months to write the end of the book because I felt guilty.  I had to kill her to make everything work.  But in the end, Aria ends up happy.  She gets to be with the one person she has the ability to trust and love.  She has a good ending.  I don’t feel bad about what I did to her anymore.  Especially now that Prior Lives is changing everything.

Prior Lives is a different story.  Darien is a wonderful character.  She appears cold and uncaring, but she is a strong young woman who just wanted to be normal.  She was forced to embrace being an Adept, work for a cause that she only moderately believes in, and then has to give up her independence in a variety of ways.  The thing with Adepts is that their body gets weaker and weaker the more you use your abilities.  Darien is going to end up killing people and rendering herself unable to walk.  I’m permanently crippling a character who didn’t want anything to do with her powers.  You can see how this might be a pain to write.

Writing road blocks make me feel like this

That’s it?  Why don’t you just write it?

Because I feel guilty.  I’m a little crazy that way.  My characters feel real to me.  When I’m writing, I refer to them ‘telling me their story’.  Since the characters feel real to me, it hurts to actually do horrible things to them.  I’m not the only person who has had issues with this.  I think its common among writers.  I feel less guilty about what I did to Aria.  She gets to experience love and trust.  Darien will get to experience love as well, but there are a variety of things that will turn her into a bitter person.  The worst part?  She’s going to have to live with what she’s done.

Then how do you overcome this?

Now we’re out of my whining and ranting.  I tried all of my hints for breaking writer’s block (even though I consider them different.  Writer’s block is not knowing WHAT to write or HOW to write it, this is me not WANTING to write it, very big difference).  None of them really worked.  For Opus Aria I switched back to writing on paper.  I started the novel on paper and it made sense that it ended on paper.  I wrote it outside at the rummage sale in August 2009.  Mostly?  I waited until it was right to write it.  Then the words flowed and I finished my first novel.  It was a bittersweet moment.

Prior Lives was a waiting one as well.  I had certain scenes in my mind for a long time.  The first scene that I saw from this novel is coming up.  I just needed time to perfectly plan it out.  And come to terms with what I was doing to this character.  Yeah.  That played a part too.  I’m in the process of writing the end.  I’m going to have no problem hitting 50,000 words this time.  Partially because I’m pretty sure there’s an epilogue.  Don’t worry, there will be no fluffy bunnies.  Only one startling revelation.  Yup.  Spoilers spoilers.

That’s write.  Time is what overcomes this.  That and listening to music.  And watching TV.  Lame, eh?  Just have to go on with real life and eventually you’ll be able to finish it.

Conclusion

The piece of information to take away from this?  That it can be defeated.  You can get past the road block, you just have to wait it out.  If I think of something better, I’ll make another blog post.

What do you do when you hit a road block in writing?

Thanks for reading!

~Laura

Images found on Google Image Search.

The Scream is by Edvard Munch

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