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Friday, March 18, 2016

Breaking through the Block

"Have you written anything more on your book yet," asked my oldest child. "I really want to know what happens."  I had shared some of my early writings from my first NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month)  novel with my daughter and she wants to know what will happen. 

The truth is, I hit a major writer's block right in the middle of NANO and didn't get past 5,000 words. The novel was going great until I hit a wall. No matter what angle I tried, I could not go any further. Maybe the pressure of hitting so many words a day while working full time had something to do with it. Maybe I was trying too hard. Maybe I didn't plan it out enough. Or maybe it was a combination of everything. The fact remains that I could not get anywhere with my novel for four months. 

However, I kept at it - even if it was just a little character development here and there. And finally it happened. I was ready to give up on the book, when everything began to click. It all started to fit together. FINALLY.  

I'm beginning to see that writing a novel is a bit like solving a puzzle. At first it is just a bunch of jumbled pieces. But if you look at each piece carefully, you will eventually match up the fitting pieces. I'm also beginning to see that my characters don't always share everything with me right away. Maybe they're testing me out as much as I'm testing them out. 

Now that I have broken through the block, I'm ready to tackle the novel head on. Although I'm mostly focusing on the outline and getting to know more about the characters, I'm finally moving forward. It was as if I found the missing key to the entire story. What a feeling to "break through" the block. The adventure only gets better from here. 

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