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writer's block

If you've read any of my "tips on writing" in articles or at my website, you know I don't really believe in writer's block, or at least I don't think it's a bad thing. To the extent it happens, I believe it's because you're trying to force a scene, or force a character to act OUT of character, or something along those lines. Maybe you're writing a MASKED AVENGER type story, and the hero is just about to reveal to the heroine that he's the masked avenger they've all been looking for. But the scene won't come. Why? Well, maybe it's too early in the story. Maybe it would be more dramatic if it came about in a different way (she saw him putting on his tights, for example -- just kidding, but that would be dramatic). Maybe you're in the wrong point of view -- you're seeing this from his POV, but really it would have more impact if you feel what she feels as he's making the big announcement.

Why am I telling you all of this today? Well, I had an episode like that myself this week. It started with this story I dreamed up a few months ago, but only wrote in outline form. For reasons that aren't relevant, I decided to change the plot quite a bit, but to use the same heroine, because she seemed pretty fun and interesting. I knew what I wanted the new plot to be, so it seemed like it should be a fairly simple process to re-do the synopsis. But I couldn't for the life of me make any progress on it. I even resorted to cleaning my house, just to force myself to write the darn thing, but nothing worked.

As I cleaned, I thought about my heroine. Specifically, I daydreamed about an event that happened to her early in her childhood. And suddenly I realized that that event would have shaped her in such a way that she wouldn't possibly be the heroine from my old outline. This new heroine is also fun and interesting, but in a slightly different way, because her childhood was slightly different.

Once I realized that, the synopsis wrote itself. Yay!

It's always something, folks. Your mind may feel like it's as blank as that page/screen in front of you, but don't be fooled. Your subconscious, or your imagination, or your Muse -- whatever you choose to call it -- is busy working on the story, and also busy stopping you from screwing it up. So when "writer's block" strikes, play around with the story and characters from different angles. Don't be stubborn, because if you resist the fix that's right in front of you, then you're causing your own block. It will last until you surrender to your Muse.

Kate

p.s. They've posted a slightly larger picture of my new cover over at the bombshell authors site. You still can't really see the female protagonist, but at least you can see that there is one:
http://www.bombshellauthors.com/author_bombshell.asp?ID=75

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