cut and haste

One of the dangers of writing the way I do–with no advance plot knowledge or planning at all–is that inevitable, I will follow an instinct and write down a path that doesn’t work. Such a thing happened last week and it only took me six frigging days to figure it out.

I was having a bout of writer’s laziness but there seemed to be something more going on with it. Sometimes I wanted to write but I couldn’t so I just kepts turning out pages until I was almost to the 60K word count again but then it stalled. The problem was I needed somewhere to go with the story. Since this is all stuff that’s leading up to the climax and final resolution I can’t just continue throwing in twists and plot facts and new characters which is what I normally do when the plot bogs down.

So what I did was go back to an outline I’d written during the early revision process and noticed almost the entire section I was getting ready to write was left blank. I had no idea how I was going to end my story or how I was going to get there. So I took a day to go through that outline and sketch in some vague plot points that should at least help me get through a big chunk of this section before I have to stop and think more about how to tie it all together.

This problem seems to be at the root of every single bout of writer’s block I get. I took a turn down the wrong path. But can this happen to those of you who outline as well? Do you run into messes when you’re in the actual writing of the book that don’t work as well in practice as they did in the outline?