Saturday 12 November 2011

Short story in progress

It was all going so well. I had the title (that always comes first), I had my character and his voice. It took a while to work why he had the voice he had, but it came to me in a flash of inspiration. A small amount of research later, and I was sure I could carry off this idea!

So far, so good.

I had the other characters scuttling in from the side-lines and making themselves indispensable to the plot. Fantastic, I thought, this is going well. Done by Sunday... I thought.

Then what? Nothing!

After days of rampant writing, of waking up in the night to make notes, it was all flowing so well. Then... my two main characters are sitting at their kitchen table - father and son, an awkward relationship - in an awkward silence. The mother/wife has gone missing. The police are involved. Father and son are staring at a piece of toast...

Can you sense the tension? Can you hear the emptiness of their relationship? I could. I can. But... then it all stops. I have no idea where to go next, how to get them up from the kitchen table and to the end of the story. I know what happens then - titles and endings, I'm brilliant with those; it's just the pesky bit in the middle that has me tearing my hair out.

The truth is, I paused. I stopped for a day or two because of work and other busy-ness (as opposed to business, which it technically ought to be, but looks wrong) got in the way, and then my pen didn't want to start again. It's not writer's block, it's much less severe than that, it's writer's blip. But that's annoying enough when you're in the zone and everything's flowing.

I'm hoping by writing about it here I'll kick start myself... I hope!


  1. Gah! Annoying! That often happens to me - in fact it has at the moment! I am 2/3 way through, know how it ends, but can't seem to fill in the final 3rd! Hope it jumps out at you soon! :-)

  2. This happens to me often, simply because I get sidetracked a lot with work and kids and life. I find if I jump back in and write a totally new scene--not at all linearly--that it inspires me to get back to work. Hope that helps!

  3. Ouch! I hope that by the time you're reading this, your little blip has vanished from whence it came!

  4. Thanks everyone!

    Linda - yes, it did kind of jump out at me. A knock at the door, one of those lovely cliches that just beg to be used.

    Julie - I made a start on the last few paragraphs, and yes, you're advice helped because I stopped staring at the same sentence.

    Sarah - not vanished but hiding in a corner!

  5. I love how you had the title first. The title is always the hardest part for me. I just can't get them. All that creativity going into the story and I feel like a mindless idiot when it comes to the title. That and names!

    I hope this little bump has passed and you are happily writing away again now.

  6. I finished the first draft today, Rebecca, so tomorrow I'll read it through and hope there are some true gems of genius :-)


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