I just spent the last three weeks agonizing over the plot for “Ithani” – the last book in my Oberon Cycle trilogy. I’m dealing with eight major characters, trying to deliver on the romance piece for a third time, and planning wrap up all of the loose ends by the end of the book.
I’ve sat down to outline things on a couple occasions, and nothing felt quite right. It’s like trying to stuff yourself into a pair of jeans that’s three sizes too small–it felt forced, and just sat there on the page, taunting me with its flacidness. Blecch.
Then yesterday morning I had a bit of a revelation on how to lay out the plot in a more organic way. It opened the floodgates.
I’m not a big believer in writers’ block, as folks who read my column regularly know. I like to think of it more as writer’s wait. Whenever I have a hard time moving forward with a story, it usually means there’s something wrong with it, something I am too close to it to see. That I’m trying to force it in a direction it doesn’t want to go.
And so I’ve learned to wait it out, working on other things, to give my brain a chance to sort things out.
With this new idea, it’s sorted. I think. I put my first scene down on paper yesterday afternoon, and OMG it felt so good to write. Now it’s full speed ahead, at least until I hit another stretch of wait.
To my author friends, how do you handle “writer’s wait”?