Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting Out of One's Own Way

Right now, I'm having to resist the urge to rip out pages in my notebook in a fit of pique, to walk up and down the hall of my apartment muttering about characters that don't want to talk to me, to drown my sorrows in coffee and Deep Space Nine, or to just start throwing things.

I can't, for the life of me, seem to get a handle on this short story. I have the idea. I have my principal characters. I have conflict. I even have a tentative resolution. The full form of the story exists in my head, in some capacity.

Yet every time I sit down to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, everything I write seems wrong. I'm not sure if I have the wrong tense or the wrong point of view or if I'm just starting in the wrong place/time.

It doesn't help that I have a May 1st deadline and my brain keeps jumping ahead to the other details that will have to be taken care of if I ever get this story finished (editing, finding beta readers, getting feedback, incorporating said feedback and re-editing). Normally, deadlines don't give me this much of a problem.

I just can't figure this one out. There's a lock in my brain and every time I think I get close to opening it, the combination changes.

Have you had story experiences like this? What do you do to break through this kind of block? How do you get out of your own way?


L. M. Leffew said...

It hurts to relate to those feelings the way I do, despite the fact that all of my deadlines are self-imposed or utterly arbitrary. Still, the only thing that's ever snapped me out of that rut, unless you count alcohol (which you shouldn't), is writing something else - something completely unrelated. You know, like a blog post. Oh. Wait. Damn.

L. M. Leffew said...

Well, about an hour after I wrote this, I got an idea for a new opening line/scene and I've written a couple paragraphs from that. It's still slow going but maybe the post snapped me out of it.

I don't quite trust the new path, yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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