I hate being stuck. Sometimes, I get to a point in my story where nothing is happening. The words I'm writing aren't advancing the story. The story itself seems like the worst thing I've ever written. And the plot has worked itself into a giant tangled mess before I've even gotten to the good parts.
A lot of the writing advice I read says that when this happens, the best thing is to put the story aside for a while and do something else. For me, that can lead to even more time away from the story. You know the saying: "Out of sight, out of mind." After all, there is Christmas baking to do.
Instead of taking a break, I like to think of being stuck as a sign that I need to go back and do some more thinking. There's a reason the writing isn't flowing. It's probably because I took a wrong turn somewhere, and wrote something that sabotaged my story.
What often works for me is to revisit my outline or short summary and rewrite it. First I read through it, finding places where I can ask "Why?" This reminds me of my character's goals and what she wants. Or gets me thinking about different ways to continue on the story path.
The more writing I do, the more important it's becoming to make sure the story is all about what my character wants and how she's going to get it.
In case you're wondering, here's what I accomplished during November:
1) I came up with 30 ideas for PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month), and ended up writing a picture book draft for one idea that wouldn't let go
2) I wrote 10,000 words in my "mini-NaNo" where I was focusing on my new project (Novel # 5). I'm pleased with how much I accomplished, even though I know I'll need to do some serious rewriting.
How did you do? Did you get something accomplished in November?