Are You There God? It’s Me KD.

Seriously, are you? God-is-woman3

I have some questions.

There are the obvious ones such as why the fuck did you let Trump happen? And what do the Russians have on Congress? C’mon, you can tell me! Octavia Spencer stars as 'Papa' in THE SHACK.

 

 

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve been asked all that ad nauseum. I’ve got a more personal, more selfish question.

My muse, you know the goofy multi cultural one who mutters to herself? Why do you have her bound and gagged? I mean, that’s the only explanation I have right now. You seem to love doing it at this point in the writing process too. You know what I’m talking about, the final third of the book.

In every single novel I’ve written, you’ve kidnapped her around this time. Hell, even when I was writing fanfic you did it! So, seriously God can we talk? Woman to woman. What is with the literary constipation? The words are there. I know exactly what I want to happen but they won’t come through. I feel them though. Right there on the cusp.

Last time this happened we had more of a reason right? You remember? The newest breast cancer scare which had been more frightening than usual thanks to the term BI RAD 4b, but we pulled through. You let her go right when I thought I was about to lose my mind. The situation isn’t any where near as precarious. I mean, I’ve been officially married for a year. Bought a house, and I work a job I like most of the time for shit pay. I know what the stressor is. I’m bringing home pennies compared to what I used to before.

imagesSo, you’d think her loopy ass would be dancing on my brain right about now to help me pen a masterpiece to end all masterpieces. I’m guessing you have her hog tied this time. So, no dancing right now.

 

 

 

You’ve seen what I’m doing to pass the time? Binge watching Criminal Minds, Bull, and I’ve seen the stupidest movies. Don’t get me started on Dr. Pimple Popper because really? I’m never eating oatmeal again. At this point, I could have come up with my own reality show or movie idea and been a few hundred thousand dollars richer.

 

Let’s rewind to the first instance of this happening in a professional capacity. Jove Belle had told me for the tenth time that I needed to rewrite the whole fucking book. I thought about hiring hit men just to scare her mind you. I wanted her to be as stressed and on edge as I was at that time. How many super hero movies did I watch? How much smut did I read? How much cake and chips did I eat? A lot goddammit. Finally, the words started flowing again.

Well, I’m trying to stay away from cake and chips. I’ve been eating carrot sticks instead. Aren’t they supposed to be good for the brain? Or is it just eye sight? I don’t recall. I would also like to admit that in addition to the binge watching mentioned before, I am fast becoming an Investigation Discovery addict. I now know how to commit the perfect murder and think Joe Kenda is the shit.

 

HELP ME. It won’t be long before I turn to my X Box One or PS4. A new Tomb Raider game is coming out not to mention Red Dead 2 and Fall Out 76. My fellow writers grab a limb and put me back together. What do you do to get through writer’s block? If it involves beer, wine or cheese I’m in. That’s infinitely better than cake and chips.

KD’s work is available on Amazon or at Ylva. This includes her lesfic drama, Pink.  Her next book in the Cops and Docs Series, Drawing the Line will be released November 21st. For more information on KD visit her website

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8 comments

  1. KD, I just recalled a text I received some time ago when I’d been victimized by writer’s block. I’ll paraphrase it.

    All things happen when they’re supposed to. There’s no way to rush or force creativity. Take advantage of this lull to increase your receptivity and appreciation of patience.

    Your talent is so obvious. Trust it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay… I’m not a fiction writer. And the following probably isn’t even what you’ve asked for.

    (If that’s the case, my bad and please forgive.)

    So, like, the biggest grain of salt and a spoon full of sugar with these thoughts.

    (But, I do read a crap-ton of books and notice a crap-ton of things that occur in the last third of books.)

    (‘Specially in them romances y’all lovely folks write.)

    (Still, the biggest grain of salt and a spoon full of sugar with these thoughts.)

    Side note: My food crack when I need to mull over things is Wasabi Peas.

    You’ve stated that you know what needs to be written.

    Really good thing that!

    You’re not plot stuck. (yay!)

    Just words stuck. (boo!)

    Is this a point where you’re writing a “business-ish” scene that gets you from point A to a bigger (read: more emotional) point B scene so it’s more external than internal?

    Or is it one where you have to dive headfirst into the murky deep waters of emotions because of all the subtext has become main text on a colossal scale?

    Either way, try taking more time to answer a question that you’ve already answered: What do I need to accomplish in this scene?

    But also answer: Why do I want to write this scene?

    A (goofy) example…

    What you need to accomplish:

    Show how your character’s mad yodeling skill helps her pull past the darkest moment of her life to solve the case and win back her true love.

    Why you want to write it:

    You secretly love yodeling and are a master at it. Plus, mad skilled plotter that you are, you’ve already planted earlier scenes in the first third of your draft where your character yodeled for kicks to establish that she doesn’t just pull this love-and-case winning skill out her butt, Deus ex machina style.

    Think of one way to show that yodel scene. Any way. Don’t criticize that brain nugget. Just vomit something out that vaguely resembles what your character would do in whatever situation you’ve presented for the yodeling.

    Think of a different way to show that way.

    Think of a unique way to show that different way.

    Think of the hardest way to show that unique way.

    Think of the most emotionally true way to show that hardest way.

    Ask yourself if that emotional true way works for you as a writer. As in, does it work for the story.

    Then, ask as a reader. As in, would that choice make you throw the book or make you turn the page.

    A) If yes to both the writer you and the reader you, then allow yourself to free-flow write this scene using that choice. Just write whatever uncensored things hop into your head until you can’t write anymore. Set no word count for this bit of writing. If you are a writer who edits as she goes, then turn off your inner editor to write this bit. Don’t even correct spelling. Just vomit out words. Vomit them.

    B) If it doesn’t ring true to the writer you or the reader you, then circle back to brainstorming with a different brain nugget. Or, choose an entirely different scene to brainstorm & free write. You don’t have to write in chrono-order at this point. Really, you’re just trying to vomit out those words that you know are there. Allow yourself time to play with scenarios, no censor. Maybe even write out a quick journal entry where you discuss some reasons why this scene is hard to write and then maybe bullet point some ways to address those reasons. Might lead to a brain nugget you can expand upon.

    Try some Wasabi Peas. Or not. Because carrots are good too. Especially with hummus. Or not.

    Another way…

    Have your character’s motivation, need and goal handy in the forefront of your mind.

    (I know you already do. Just humor me.)

    Drop your character into a horrible situation, one she’s super motivated to prevail against to accomplish a goal, but make her have to choose between meeting her goal and meeting her need.

    Hey, it worked for Marvel. To the tune of over 2 billion dollars!

    [SPOILERS]

    Scarlet Witch in Infinity War…

    Drop her into a horrible situation:

    Thanos wants to kill off half the universe’s population and needs the Mind stone from her lover Vision in a bid to do the horrible finger snap fade out murders and will for sure kill Vision to get that stone. In fact, Thanos is standing right in front of Scarlet and Vision, poised to kill Vision (though he’s monologue’n).

    One she’s motivated to prevail against to accomplish her goal:

    Half the universe’s population will die if her whole team fails to beat Thanos (and there’s like a 1 in 14 million chance they’ll succeed); chances are super good she will kill Vision if she removes his Mind stone, which she has to do in order to thwart Thanos and save the universe, but is understandably super reluctant to do because it means she’ll kill the one she loves.

    But make her have to choose between meeting her goal:

    Stop Thanos & Save The Universe

    And meeting her need:

    Allowing herself to be fully present in her love for Vision, which, yeah, he kinda has to be alive for her to do (but her love will always be there… which she knows deep down when chooses to remove the stone and save the universe…so she actually releases and achieves her need, just not in the way she’d most like to do that).

    She MUST choose one!

    In fact, every major character in Infinity War had to make that same choice (in different ways), including Thanos! Because, theme was (stated in a reductive way): Sacrifice.

    So, think about your story’s theme too.

    How can you make that choice between goal and need reflect/tie into your theme?

    Because the last third of your book is gonna rock all that real hard. Just like in Infinity War.

    The choice your character makes—her need or her goal–will define her character growth arc.

    Will illuminate the theme.

    Will cause the feels to blossom in your readers and overflow. And seize their hearts and minds.

    (Because—hopefully as you move past the writer’s block—it did all that for you first.)

    Then, run through the consequences of her choice and additional feels and even more gripping & cathartic moments to keep your readers on that emotion roller coaster having a good time until the end. Or epilogue’s end.

    Psst… you instinctively already know all this. Because this draft you’re stuck on right now is not your first rodeo. You can get past this writer’s block. You already did for each of your published novels. Trust in yourself. ; )

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