The last few days were tough for me and The Whitehawk Legion. I was confronted with a simple enough chapter where I knew exactly what was supposed to happen, exactly why it was happening, and who it involved. I suspected it would be longer than the average length for the story and indeed that is turning out to be the case. But for whatever reason, the words just weren’t coming. What would the character say next? How would the other character(s) respond? Even worse, I knew that coming up was a major shift in the plot, a sharp bend in the road ahead…and I had no idea just how or when to turn the steering wheel. I knew where it was I needed to get to, but the path was covered in a fog of unknown details. I’ve had that before on this project, but it always sorted itself out easily enough.
I can’t stand writers who won’t admit to having writer’s block. They sit there and look the interviewer from Time or The New Yorker squarely in the eye and say they have no idea what the fuss is about, they’ve never had trouble sitting down to write, you just do it that’s all, and everyone else is a lazy slob. Stupid bestselling authors.
Okay, so they aren’t that smug about it, nor do I think they’re lying. I have a pretty vicious imagination! It still makes me jealous, though, because every brush with The Block leaves me anxious with doubts. Whoever named the phenomenon really knew what they were talking about, because it’s exactly like walking along, doing your thing, and you suddenly slam into a brick wall. And like a bug that doesn’t know enough about windows and glass, you keep banging your head against it in an effort to move forward.
Fortunately, last night, the floodgates burst for me. It started with a simple sentence, an idea for what Emily Monroe’s next bit of dialogue would be, which developed into the beginnings of a conversation, and soon enough I could see the perfect way to not only proceed with this chapter, but also with the next one…and that sharp turn in the road.
Luckily for me, it came before I developed a full-blown fever (albeit a low one). I can still write, but I doubt I would have had any fun trying to dig a tunnel underneath that wall.