Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aack! I'm Stuck!

It’s not writer’s block. My brain and fingers are raring to go. But I’ve written my main character into a dungeon tower and I’m not sure how to get her out. My outline (which I slaved over months ago) is a little vague on what’s supposed to happen now. Maybe I thought I’d come up with a good idea by this point? Some ideas that have crossed my mind:

1) She unwinds her long hair and…oops! Not my story. Anyway, her hair is messy and tangled and the window is too small.

2) Friends rescue her just in time and—wait! She’s the main character so that’s cheating. She needs to do something to get out by herself.

3) ???

Since I’m stuck on this part, I’m going to skip ahead. I usually write in sequence, so it will be challenging for me. (I'm looking at it as another chance to grow as a writer). I just hope I don’t end up with a big hole in my story later.


  1. Have her tell you. Write a letter in her voice and let her tell you what she's going to do next and how she's going to get out. That works sometimes.

  2. If you don't know at this point, the reader won't be able to easily guess either, which is a big advantage. Andrea's suggestion is great.

  3. I think Andrea is on to something. When I'm stuck like this, I sit down and talk to my character. "Okay," I say. "I'm waiting to hear what happens next." Oddly enough, it almost always works. Sometimes it takes a few days, though.

    You're very brave to skip ahead! I've never done this. Keep us posted on how this works out.

  4. Ha, I do this kind of thing all the time! In fact, I recently had one of my characters confront an all-powerful witch. Oops, how do you defeat someone who is all-powerful? The only way I could figure out what happened was to just write the scene. I guess I never really know what my characters will do until I put them into action. Good luck!

  5. Wow - thanks for the encouragement. I decided to try Andrea V.'s suggestion - and just starting writing from my character's perspective in my story journal. Some very interesting stuff is emerging - though I haven't finished solving the problem yet!

  6. Yikes! Good luck! Let us know when you figure it out. A loose stone maybe? :)

  7. I've so been there so many times. In my last book, I knew where I wanted to go so I just wrote what seemed like the stupidest way to get out of the situation (remember the museum scene?). It was awful but later I was able to go back and actually make the crazy idea work. So you never know, jibberish might acutally work for you!


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