Revisions are stalled, every word seems trite, and the entire premise seems mediocre. Is it time to give up? Not yet. This is what I’ve been doing to get back in the groove.
Step away from the computer. Every relationship needs a break sometimes.
Have fun with the manuscript. Yesterday I had a writing day with some friends and fellow writers. TimInMich brought a brilliant exercise that involved describing our protagonists from other characters’ points of view. Yes, I’m sick of my main character, but focusing on some of the secondary characters is lifting me out of this rut.
Take a different approach. One member of my writing group is outlining her novel with poetry. Hmm, I wonder if I could come up with a synopsis in Haiku.
Do the creative thing. One of my writing friends gets her best ideas during bubble baths. Another claims that housecleaning inspires her. (Honest) I prefer long walks.
Last winter my Sunday nature series was frosted over. Remember picture after picture of ice formations? So far this year, my hunting expeditions have not yielded great photo ops, but while I tromp through the snow, I’ve been thinking about the weather conditions that make the best ice photographs.
1. Moving water – like a river or a fountain. No splashing – no stalactites. 2. Temperatures just below freezing. This year we had a hard freeze right after the first snow, and the Red Cedar River crusted over. 3. Sunshine. Yeah, it’s all about light. Unfortunately in this part of the world, when the temperatures warm up to freezing, the sky is often overcast.* 4. Lower water level. As the water freezes, the river level goes down, leaving ice formations high and dry.
I’ll keep searching.
*To be honest, that sentence should read: Unfortunately in this part of the world, the sky is often overcast.
Almost every novel I start to read then reject* has the same flaw.
The protagonist doesn’t care about anything or anyone.
The novel may have a killer voice, and a beautifully twisted plot, but if the main character is devoid of passion, I don’t care about the book. Some people argue that the teenage experience is Brownian motion. (Actually, since they were English majors, they used a different term.) I’ve never met a teenager who cared about nothing. It may be buried too deep to see at first, but I have to believe it’s there. Even characters at the pit of depression need a flicker of hope to lead them out. If a protagonist is indifferent to everything, why write a book about him? After all, passion is the bottom line.
Why do you give up on a book?
*The exception to the rule is any book that has a vampire in it. Uh, uh. No way. I won’t read it.
This mystery photo contest was so much fun. I loved every answer. Three cheers for all the guesses involving frost. Those little white furry things are hoarfrost growing between the planks of a wooden bridge.