I wrote the prologue and first two chapters of my new project, tentatively titled Bellanok, with unbelievable ease. Seriously. The total so far is about 4,000 words, and I probably cranked it out in 2-3 hours over a couple of days. But then it happened.
On Saturday, I opened up Scrivener, re-read the last chapter, pulled up the new text page . . . and then nothing. Absolutely nothing. I had no idea what came next. I know it’s not quite time for Fauna to convince Brian to return to Bellanok. A couple of other things have to happen first before he’ll even believe her (right now, he just thinks she’s nuts), and I have no idea what.
I thought about jumping ahead to when he does come to the realization that he’s the savior and agrees to go with Fauna–but then what? I have no clue! This is so weird for me.
I’ve written 3 novels that I would willingly claim (a couple more that I wouldn’t). Each and every time, I did so without an outline, without knowing where the story was going, and with only a vague idea of how it was supposed to end. Half the time, I didn’t even know the characters! And I was still the most prolific writer in the WDC Fiction Writer’s group.
Now, though, I’m staring at a blank page. Nothing. Not a clue. I play around on Facebook and Twitter while I try to brainstorm. I fold clothes with worship music on to inspire me. I. Got. Nothing.
It’s odd to me because before I started writing on Bellanok, Fauna couldn’t keep her mouth shut. I told you how she kept trying to impede on my last project before I was ready for her. She got so annoying, I finally had to jot down most of the prologue so she’d leave me alone long enough to get my WIP ready for my crit group.
Now, I have a prologue and 2 chapters and nowhere to go with it. I wonder what I should do this week? Here’s what I’m thinking:
- One of Scrivener’s features are character templates. I figured I could start interviewing my characters, find clarity on their GMCs. Find out what makes them tick.
- Play the “what if” game. I did this with Dividing Spirits a ways back when I got stuck. Granted, I was much further in and needed good filler for the end of the middle. Still, coming up with list of “what if” questions, choosing a couple, and then making “what if” questions to those scenarios. This might give me some direction as far as plot.
- Outline. *shiver* I despise outlining. It has been the bane of my writing career. However, in the last year or so, I find myself making outlines for articles and blog posts–maybe as I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve developed more of a linear process. Maybe I’m just not the pantster I used to be. Maybe if I try to use an outline this time, I won’t lose interest about 1/3 of the way through.
I’m going to give these a try this week. If worse comes to worse, maybe this novel just hadn’t steamed long enough in my head, and I need to choose another project. Then again, maybe I was just so busy with other projects last week that my muse needed a break by the time I got to my writing. It happens, right?
What do you do when you get stuck?