Writing Wednesday: Dealing with Difficult Scenes

Keira Knightly typing

Image via Vogue

I’ve been blogging a lot more lately and it’s all due to a combination of three things:

1) I’ve been hit by a great big spurt of blogger creativity with lots of ideas that were really easy to put into action – hence more blog posts!

2) That photography workshop I took a while back? Has totally spurred me on with my newfound ability to take some great pictures. It’s still a work in progress as I practice using my camera, but having really nice visuals on my blog has definitely inspired me to want to work on my blog more often. Having dark/poor quality images in my posts really depressed me and it’s nice to finally be able to do something about that! (P.S. I have a mini photography workshop coming up soon as well in celebration of World Photography Day so stay tuned for more improvements in my photography!)

3) I’ve hit a major road bump in the middle of writing my current work-in-progress book and it’s seriously got me down.

Number 1 and 2 are obviously reasons that give me plenty of uplift and joy. For one, I’m glad to have something creative and different to work on that I’m making visible progress with it (hooray for visible progress, yay!). It also highlights another reason why I decided to go into blogging – to have, as mentioned above, another creative outlet, especially one with more visible milestones that I can turn to when I’m feeling burned out with writing my Great Breakout Novel.

However, number 3 is a bit of a bummer as I’m having one of those Am I Crazies moments and wondering if I’m ever going to be a good enough writer to get published.

It’s all a matter of perspective, though, and I know it’s just another big pothole on this crazy road of writing that sometimes feels a lot more like the highway to hell! (Cue AC/DC music here).

So what’s the reason for the burnout here? Well, to be honest, I’ve actually been making really good headway in the last few weeks on my personal writer’s journey with the exception of some minor potholes and bumps along the way, but that’s to be expected with any road we journey on in life. However, I’ve just hit one particular scene (well, actually, a couple of them all linked together) that has me completely stumped and no amount of rewriting I’ve done will fix them.

I am at a complete blank right now.

I’ve hit a wall.

I’ve tried all manner of writer’s block cures. I’ve given myself time off to let things simmer. I’ve read other books and watched a few shows. I’ve listened to music in hopes of a little auditory inspiration, I’ve turned to blogging instead, gone on runs and thrown myself into my Kayla Itsines BBG workouts with extra vigour, cooked up some meals, did some chores… but still, nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

It’s driving me crazy and I don’t know what to do.

Well, actually kinda. If the scene’s not working, I know I’ve only got two choices left.

a) Ditch the scene. It’s obviously not working and this may just be my muse’s way of telling me it’s rubbish and the book will be better off without it anyway.

b) Leave it. LEAVE IT. And move on to the next scene (for a little bit of context here, I’m currently working through the book slowly on its first draft, chapter by chapter) and continue to work my way on what can be done. And once I’ve finished revising the rest of my first draft, then I can come back and tackle this scene all over again. By which time, I might have a better idea of what to do with it or perhaps I won’t. In which case, I’ll know then that I really should just revert to solution (a) and ditch the scene.

I don’t like the idea of ditching this scene because it has some really good elements that I really like, though I just can’t, for the life of me, make it work right now.

So I’m going with (b) for now and moving on to the next scene. And hopefully by the time I swing by this pothole a second time, I’ll have figured out a way to  make it work. Otherwise, solution (a) it is!

Writers: how are you faring with the bumps along your personal writing journey? And what’s your go-to when you meet a scene you just can’t seem to fix?

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