You've heard me writing about hanging out on a plateau. This is an area in writing that is discouraging, frustrating, and totally bizarre.
Here's the scenario:
You've got a good start in your novel. Skipping along comfortably with no thoughts that you're gonna reach a Rocky Mountain next week (or tomorrow). Figured out what the plot is, got the characters firmly planted in your head, wrote a super beginning hook. Whew. You're flying. Nothing's gonna stop you on this novel!
Ouch. Just stubbed my writing toe. About the eleventh chapter or so, you grind to a halt. Racking of the ole brain doesn't help. Walking a path in the floor: likewise. You could try beating your head on the wall, throwing the computer out doors, burning the whole thing. Nope, not a bit of use.
What does help when you don't know where to go from here?
- Brainstorming is a good option. I've got several wonderful critique friends that are great at brainstorming with me.
- Another trick is to think in reverse. In other words, a chapter is going in a certain direction: reverse the action. Instead of going up the stairs, what happens if you have the hero headed down them?
- A third option is to think about the worst thing that could happen to your poor protagonist.
Grin. What fun, huh?