Monday, June 27, 2011


Today is our first official writing Monday, so I'm going to talk about something that's been plaguing me, as a writer.

I'm working on this new story, The Descent of Chris Chappell. Well, it's a new old story. Remember? It's the one I had the sudden shock of inspiration for? The one I offered up for critique at Miss Snark's First Victim?

In summary of those two posts, there is this story that's been in my head for a long time. Then last March I suddenly changed the main character POV and wrote 10,000 words in one sitting. I submitted part of it for critique and got rave reviews. It was fantastic. But the story hasn't progressed much since then. It's stuck at 20,000 words and has been for a while.

Originally I was writing the story from a female character's POV, and for some reason I really struggled with this. When I switched to the male character's POV, everything was just easier. For some reason, I found Chris's voice, even though he is a crazy, slightly evil character. But Marilla? The girl who is like me in many ways? Her I just can't figure out.

Yes, I switched to a mainly Chris POV, but I need to keep Marilla's perspective as well, simply because a lot of the story happens from her perspective. There are plot points that Chris can't see. And it's a Marilla chapter I'm currently stuck in. I can't get past it.

I plan on taking Brandon Sanderson's sage advice and just plowing through it. I can't remember the post or tweet exactly, but Mr. Sanderson essentially advised to write even when you don't feel like writing. Sure, it might be complete crap, but you can go back and fix that, whether through a revision or a complete rewrite. So that's my plan. Starting today, I'm just going to hack through this awful chapter.

I have no idea why I find it so hard to write Marilla. I understand her completely. I know everything about her from her motivations to her future. Perhaps Marilla is too similar to me, perhaps that is what makes her hard to write. Strange that I can find a psychopath male's voice but not one that is similar to my own.

Anyone out there have advice for what you do when you're blocked? Or when you're really struggling with a character?

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