Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Writer's Clog.

Over the next few weeks things on my blog will be a little crazy. Summer has moved in and family things will be occurring so if I miss a few days--I did not leave. Welcome to my new blogger buddies can't wait to see your site.

Tomorrow Frankie will be hosting a Blogfest. You must write a love letter to your fav YA character. I hope to participate but my mind has been mushy so I'm not sure how creative I am at this moment. I definately want to check out the entries.

Thursday, July 1st--Michelle Gregory is hosting Share your Darlings Blogfest. You share a scene you love but had to delete from your WiP.

We all know what writer's block is, right? Nothing comes from that part in your brain that is supposed to be creative. Sometimes things dry up and nothing comes out. A black hole forms and your voice echoes as you ask--Is anybody in there? Yes, I've had this but recently I've had something different. Something I'm referring to as writer's clog.

Let me explain. I have been working my butt off (I wish this was actually true because I would like to lose a few pounds in that area--whole other issue) on WiP #1. Since it is the first novel I've finished, I've a lot of learning going on so I understand the slow process and constant revision. I'm going through my first revisions on it and can not get away from the beginning. I kept saying move on and come back, write down your ideas and return but the brain is not listening. So after 10 revisions of my first chapter, I came up with another idea for chapter 1.

I emailed my CPs a horrible version of my idea and waited for them to give me feedback. Their comments turned out pretty positive. Then I met with one of my CPs and she helped me brainstorm even more interesting ways to start my baby. (Thanks Kelly!)

I'm trying to let it simmer put it all together and hopefully have a kick butt writing session. The problem is all of the ideas are stuck. They are all blocking the filter that lets ideas flow smoothly. Everything is sitting there and my mind can't decide where to start. It doesn't help that WiP #3 keeps throwing visuals my way. Thank god WiP #2 is quietly entertaining itself on the otherside of my brain.

What kind of Draino do I need to clear this up?

I want to move on with the first round of revisions (because I have a lot crap to get rid of) and come back to this but I want to write it while it is fresh.
See --I have the ideas they are just clogging the drain. This, my friends, is not allowing the creative water to flow.

Has this happened to you?

What is your remedy?

Have a great day!

16 comments:

  1. Yeah, I've experienced that too. You just gotta scribble everything down until everything seems incomprehensible except one idea. I know that's no help, but you just gotta get them out until they stop and then look at them all separately. Scribble Scribble Scribble!

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  2. Yeah, I just write them all down and see which one flows.

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  3. As you know I've just gone through this and it's been a nightmare. The solution for me you ask... writing a new book. I came up with an idea and since my first novel was driving me bonkers I put it to the side to play by itself and I took my new wip on a wild ride and now at 20,000 in I'm feeling a weight lifted off. My first WiP as much as I wanted to make it work didn't want to work yet, there were too many intricate details for me to work through and it wasn't something I could handle.

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  4. I see 'writer's clog' similar to drain hair - bleegh, what a lovely image to leave you with! I think the only way through it is to write and write - maybe set yourself a page of A4 for each idea and then see what one you feel more attuned with. And way to go - having tons of ideas is brilliant! At least then you can pick and choose. :)

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  5. Truthfully, the only thing that's worked for me so far, is a good cleaning. Scrubbing the kitchen cabinets is a good one, the strenuous physical labor where you can't get to pen and paper to write it down somehow disentangles all the tangles in my mind and allows me to find what I need. Or straightening out the linen closet. I know huh, boring mundane but useful in the simplicity. Keeps the hands active, lets the mind wander.

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  6. Just write the ideas down...even if it is one word, one sentence, whatever. Write down the setting...if you see it in the bedroom, write Anna is in bedroom- whatever pops into your head, write it. If you see her wearing something specific, write it. If you hear someone say a certain phrase, write it. Or sketch it- you can do this! You also have a ton going on this week too...if you can, maybe focus on getting your house and bags ready and when you re approach the story, it will be more fresh

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  7. Honestly, I'd sit on the ideas for a few weeks, if you can stand it. To continue your analogy, the ones that won't work will go down the drain.

    Stephen King says, if two or three people out of three tell you to change something, change it. But if you get conflicting ideas, you may leave it as is. (Or in this case, change it how you see fit.)

    On Friday, I wrote a post about critique, if you'd like to check it out:

    http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com/2010/06/swallowing-critique.html

    Sometimes your gut just tells you something is wrong or right. Trust it.

    Good luck!

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  8. Whenever I'm stuck, I start scribbling down ideas, questions, anything that comes to mind. I freewrite about the book until I find something that excites me again. If that doesn't happen after a few days, then I try working on another WiP.

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  9. Busy yourself in other ways, not related to writing. Keep yourself from writing for a while, but think about it while you're doing other stuff. Hold out until the very last minute, when you've thought about every possible direction and mulled over each idea--the right ones WILL come to the surface and the rest will be sucked down the drain. And then, when you're about to go nuts if you don't write, go for it.

    Works for me every time. :-)

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  10. This HAS happened to me, like right now in the present but I cleared it up two days ago. Sort of I'm still working on it and it may take another round of Drano as you so awesomely (made up word?) put it.
    What I had to figure out was that I was putting too many elements into the chapter, all my ideas were colliding and butting heads so no one idea could really become clear. Then I lost my character all together...they were kinda like well screw this I'm out. So I stripped it down to the bare essentials then rebuilt it slowly (what I'm doing now)
    A website that helped me regain the focus was on the 20 Master Plots. It's a book but someone broke it down into phases and checklists. AWESOME, and then I was able to really see what the goal was for the first chapter according to my main plot. To be honest, I wasn't aware that my plot was so clouded with other plots and that's where I fell short each time.
    Here's the website link if you wanna check it out, the girls at CC have already bookmarked it ;)
    http://www.mit.edu/~mbarker/exercises/plot.html
    So to review, I figured out my basic plot the main one, stripped my first chapter of anything that was unnecessary, meaning I left my character and the setting the same and now I am rebuilding it with a clear objective according to how it will hook and deepen my actual plot. No more wonky plot! Good luck!

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  11. Summer's comment is genius! That's what I would do :)

    You can do this! And your first chapter was not horrible that you sent me. I really liked it!

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  12. I find taking a long walk and putting my brain on hold for a bit is a great way to clear out the clogs!

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  13. I agree with Meredith that freewriting usually helps me get unstuck fastest.

    However, if your ideas still feel half baked, you should probably set aside that project and work on something else for a while. With a little distance, you'll have new perspective on the problem area when you return to it.

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  14. I'm with the school of putting it away for awhile and work on something new. When this happens to me I find that things clear up considerably when I've distanced myself from it. Good luck.

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  15. I do two things to unclog:

    1) I read authors I love. Inspiration writing is inspiring.

    2) I read my old work. It helps me get in touch with my inner voice.

    3) I drink a little dark beer. Not too much, or it kills the voices. I need just enough to let them hum without knowing the words.

    4) I either work on a new piece, or I scrap my current piece -- sometimes entirely -- and write from a different angle. I modify the POV, tone, even add and delete characters.

    Yes, that's more than two.

    - Eric

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  16. writer's clog. i love it. that's exactly what's been going on with me and Blackheart. so many great ideas, but how to integrate them into the story without forgetting any of them, and where should i put them exactly? i rant and rave and wait. not the best thing to unclog, but that's me.

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