I’m taking the lazy way out today and cross-posting from my Live Journal Blog.
I won’t argue with the people who insist there’s no such thing as writer’s block, just introduce my own take on it. And it’s been a hell of a slump — somewhere around two weeks stuck on the same chapter of The Warden and coming very close to giving up on it until later in the year. My slumps are usually the product of a problem without a solution. Where is the plot going from this point on? How is a character going to respond to something that has just happened or is about to happen? That kind of thing. The problem generates a vicious cycle, a downward spiral that looks as if it has no exit. I get depressed about the problem, and the depression makes it harder to find a solution. Down and down and down.
The only way out is to keep banging my head against the wall until something happens. Maybe a brick falls out and there’s a ray of light. Or maybe the blood dripping into my eyes generates an idea that couldn’t have come about in any normal way. Nobody ever told me that one of the most important qualities for a writer is sheer stubbornness. Never give up. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Whatever.
So, I’m about to finish the head-banging, hair-tearing chapter of The Warden and it’s possible that I will finish it this month instead of chickening out and leaving all my holding-their-breath-for-the-next-chapter readers with a summary of where I think it will go next — some day — when hell freezes over.