Ren recently asked how we cope with writer’s block.
Sheer blunt force, I said. There are times I don’t feel like writing, or when I don’t feel like writing what I’ve been assigned to write. I usually just muscle through it, especially in the latter case. That’s one good thing I learned in the news business. If it’s your job to write about GDP growth, you write about GDP growth, even if you’d much rather be shopping.
Until my recent struggles putting together the ending of Book Two, the hardest time I had breaking through had been in writing the fight scene in Alara’s Call when Alara is captured by enemy soldiers. In the original version, It went something like: They fought for a few minutes, and then she was knocked unconscious.
I needed to describe the whole thing, blow by blow. I didn’t want to.
It took a whole afternoon, and a couple pots of tea, but I did it. I would write a sentence, get up, pace around, try to visualize the fight, go back write another sentence, repeat…and periodically realize half of what I had done was crap. Rewrite. Repeat. Wore me out.
And the story is much better for it.