Friday, March 4, 2011

The Hard Part

Some writers have trouble conjuring book ideas. They can spin sentences like silk but couldn't come up with a high concept hook to save their lives.

Other writers struggle through the first pages only to write like the wind once the world is properly established.

Still some writers find the middle the most beguiling part of story--anything can happen and nothing is given.

And a few of us hate writing endings as much as we hate saying goodbye at the airport.

I've struggled with all of the above! But currently I'm finding the beguiling middle and afterglow ending impossible to nail down.

When I get to something that feels like the hard part of writing, it helps me to do a few things:

  • back off from the story and let it simmer
  • watch awesome TV with killer characterization and plot
  • exercise
  • clean
  • dream
  • re-imagine and re-outline
  • force myself to write
  • force myself to cut what I just wrote
  • start writing again
  • finally get it right and move on
What do you do when you get to the hard part? And what's the hardest part for you? 


  1. Plotting kills me! Getting started is by far my hardest part. :)

  2. Turning off my internal editor and letting myself spit the story out is my biggest hurdle. Once I relax it all comes together. After all, the rewrites will come whether or not I edit NOW. =)

  3. Being a pantser...I honestly have NO idea where my story is going half the time. Sometimes I know the ending and sometimes I don't...which is really frustrating. Usually if I just put on some music to inspire me or take a break and watch Roswell then the inspiration jus flows.

  4. My biggest issue is letting the romance carry me away. Usually to the point the other characters don't exist. I write through it and cut it all out later. :)
    When I get to the point where nothing is working, I turn on some 80s hair metal and let the music guide me onward. Rock on and Rock out!

  5. All kinds of things can cause me trouble. But exercising helps me solve them. Must be all the blood flowing to my head. Just don't ask me any questions at the same time. Then I have no idea what you're saying.

  6. I pout when I get to the hard part :) I think exercise helps, just because pushing your body balances out all that pushing of the mind.

  7. Aw, man. I'm doing the hardest part right now -- query, synopsis, putting my work out there to sink or swim.

  8. Hardest part is the beginning. I have a difficult time jumping into the story. I just plow through it until I hit my stride.
    But a little TV and movie time doesn't hurt!

  9. I think it depends on the book for me. Sometimes things flow, sometimes you have to pull them out. LOL. But I'm with Kelly, the synopsis *shudders* But I know it'll be better once I've edited it, I hope. :)

  10. Great tips. I grow frustrated with editing and revision, so I find listening to the input of others is so helpful, giving me perspective. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  11. I have no problem with new ideas, the beginning or the end. It's the middle for me. I push myself to finish then come back to worry about what's crap and what I'll keep.

  12. The middle's always a killer. I find that the best thing to do is step away from the computer and watch reality TV. Nothing like killing a few brain cells to scare the other ones into working. ;-)

  13. excellent post!!
    I find it hard when I get to parts between the action... trying to keep the story moving without being dull

  14. Great to know I'm not the only one who struggles with the middle... and the beginning... and the end. ;) Happy writing, everybody!

  15. Hardest part for me is, without a doubt, the middle! Showering helps with scenes...but seriously, I can't be in there all day, lol. Lately, just sitting with a note book and doodling, writing about random other things, poetry seems to be helping.

    Next novel I am going to full outline before hand (or a bit out line) see if it will keep me out of a mucky first draft middle.

  16. I hit a dead-end a few weeks ago and kept writing, trying to plow a new path - didn't work. What I really needed to do was take out a character, delete several thousand words that were not in order, and fill the plot holes.

    It was really, really hard. But now I hope (hope, hope) it'll start flowing again!

  17. Deb, I plot in the shower, too! It's amazing how clarifying warm water and white noise can be!

    Erica, good luck! I've recently cut a bunch, too. May we both get these stories out soon!


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