It happens to everyone, and the reasons are plentiful.
- Nothing is happening in the chapter.
- Too much is happening in the chapter.
- The subject is painful for the writer or close to a difficult memory.
- The chapter actually belongs in another book.
- The writer doesn’t yet understand what the chapter is supposed to achieve.
My solution is adapted from a technique we used in the lab when experiments didn’t work.
Figure out three ways to fix it, and try them all.
- Brainstorm until you come up with three completely different approaches to the chapter.
- Outline all of them. (Forget the Roman numerals and indentations. Simply make a list of events and note character emotions and changes.)
- Compare the pros and cons of each approach within the milieu of the novel.
- Write the one you like best.
- If it still doesn’t work, try another approach you’ve outlined.
This is my world right now. Welcome to Chapter 11.