Not writer’s block

I’ve been stuck on several stories for a few months. I write some lines of dialogue in one, but it just doesn’t gel into a scene. So I try another set of characters, and suddenly I have a complete scene… Except it isn’t part of this story, or not obviously so, so I stick it in the fragments file and move on.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

So now I’m at the stage where I’m reading all those disconnected scenes and asking myself if this is a completely different story that wants telling. So far, I don’t quite see it.

I’ve been increasingly tempted to significantly rewrite the incomplete tales in question. My usual rule is that I can’t rewrite a scene until I’ve written a new one. Otherwise I fall into a never ending loop of rewriting the existing bit, instead of finishing it.

Time to pull out a new trick…


About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. For more than 20 years I edited and published an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

2 responses to “Not writer’s block”

  1. Keri Peardon says :

    I think if you have no idea where you’re going, or can’t seem to get there, you should go ahead and rewrite. Even when I was doing National Novel Writing Month (50,000 words in a month), I still went back and reworked some scenes as the plot began to form in my mind. And some of the stuff I cut ended up going into the sequels, so it wasn’t wasted; it just wasn’t quite the right time for it,

    • fontfolly says :

      I know where each of these is going; but I am spinning my wheels on getting there.

      And I go back and revise all the time.

      I didn’t explain my rule of thumb completely. If I’m in the middle of writing a new scene, and I realize some specific detail needs to changein an earlier scene, I’ll go fix it. If I decide a few lines of dialogue in an earlier scene need tweeking to make a wrinkle in the plot I’ve just uncovered make sense, I’ll do that while I’m think of it.

      It’s the desire to completely redo (scrap and replace) a completed scene that activates the “Write a new scene moving the story forward first, then you can rewrite.”

      It’s an arbitrary rule based on previous bad experiences. So I may break it soon, here. But I have a few more tricks up my sleeve to try next.

      Wish me luck!

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