Sunday, November 14, 2010

When things click

I think we've all had those moments when things click. Plots come together, chapters have well formed arcs, and our character development is right where we want it.

Last week as I was working on my synopsis, I had a moment of "yes, this is what my plot needs" then I spent the whole week trying to implement it, and I hate to say that nothing clicked. I tried massaging the chapter. I tried rewriting the chapter. I even tried to move things around. Nothing worked. I think that I need to leave it alone, let it sit for a week, but I've never been good at doing that.

What do you do when you're stuck and nothing is clicking?

25 comments:

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Ah, the click. :) I think that's why we write... :)

When it's not clicking for me (which is 90% of the time), I just keep working. Keep working. Make things fit the best you can with what you have. That's all I can keep doing. Good luck!

Ellie said...

When it's not clicking for me I take a break and work on something else. My mind seems to work on it at a subconscious level and I can return to it with the solution.

Elaine AM Smith said...

Taking a break isn't always an option. I switch to paper and pen: work out what ever I thought was important and then see if I can get it in, once it is more complete. I need it to feel like it has equal value with whatever came before.

K. M. Walton said...

Walking away from the manuscript is definitely the key...for me anyway. It is that space and time away from it that allows me to "see" what it needs. It's like a miracle.

Anne Gallagher said...

There are 3 things I do --

1. Let it go. Take a breather.
2. Clean the house. Sometimes that works.
3. Write forward. What I mean is, leave that scene alone just the way it is but write the next one, and the next one. Sometimes finding your way forward will help you write your way backward.

Does that make sense?

Tracy said...

I go driving.

Seriously, for me whenever I get seriously stuck on moving a story/scene forward I go out for a drive. There is something about driving that forces the practical side of my brain to focus on that task and frees up the creative side of my brain for working out the story kink.

Tina Lynn said...

I'm a firm believer in stepping away, not that I ever did it until forced, but I really think sometimes we need distance from a thing in order to see what needs doing. Good luck!

Colene Murphy said...

I love the click! The click is an epic feeling. It always makes me feel like I'm doing something right, even if I never meant for something to "click" so well.

But if things don't I have to step away from a while and just mull it over in my head for a day or two...or 7...

LTM said...

give it to another writer friend to read. Works for me every time.

Failing that, take a break, do something else then come back. I'm w/you, though. That's hard for me.

But the click? Ahh... :D <3

lotusgirl said...

I'm not sure on that one. I'm having trouble making my rewrites click for me. The advice in the comments sounds like some good stuff. Maybe I'll try it myself.

Heidi Willis said...

When I first saw the post on my sidebar, I thought it said, "When things suck" and I thought: Oh no!! Then I was so happy it was When things Click. And then I read it and it's not clicking for you. :(

So thanks for that emotional roller coaster!

I'm working on my synopsis right now. I have no advice. Just sympathy. :) You can do it. Just keep moving forward. Eventually it will click.

Candice said...

Those times drive me crazy. For me sitting on it usually doesn't help. One of my cures is writing. That may sound strange, but writing helps me write. If it doesn't, I read. That always helps my mind get in gear.

Susan R. Mills said...

Let it sit. That's the only way that I get unstuck sometimes.

Elana Johnson said...

This is so hard. For me, I open a blank document and let myself what it should be. The absence of words on the page helps me to know that I don't have to use any of those other ones I already have written.

I know where I am (point A) and I know where I need to be (point B). I erase everything in between and start over. This usually works for me.

Good luck!

Holly Ruggiero said...

When the light bulb turns on is a glorious moment. When I’m stuck I wait it out and sleep on it.

Jennie Allen said...

Walk away and go have fun- then when I come back it feels like a new document that I have never seen- I can be the editor then.

Laura Pauling said...

I def. have to walk away and read or watch tv or work on something else - idea never comes when I'm thinking about them.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Scream. Walk away. And try to get up the guts to come back and try again. :0)

Deni Krueger said...

I walk away and try anew...similar to Elana. Sometimes I've found it's a simple missing piece, sometimes I find it's something big that can't be fixed with a simple sentence or two. Good luck!

Melissa Marsh said...

Strangely enough, I wait to think about the problem until I take a shower. And then, it is almost inevitable that something clicks in my head and the whole thing comes together. :-)

ali said...

If that's happening to me, then I have to let it sit. Put it away for a while. If I can, work on something else. If I can't work on something else, I read. Anything to get away from the piece that's giving me fits. Then, when I get back to it, it's like a breath of fresh air and I'm able to look at it with, well, fresh eyes.

Good luck Patti. I hate it when that happens, especially if I'm really set on getting the darn thing done already.

Lynn said...

Walking away from the piece and reading, even if it is just a magazine helps me when things are not clicking. Eventually all the puzzle pieces click in their spot even though they scatter so far away from each other.

Medeia Sharif said...

I keep working and when I'm ready to cut or add things, I go back and fix the manuscript. I did that last night. I was with my laptop for what seemed like a long time, but really I added slightly to the word count and added no additional pages. I was going back and inserting little things here and there to strengthen the plot.

notesfromnadir said...

I just happened to read your previous post about discovering this new angle for your character & all I can say is you have my sympathy. Yes, it has happened to me. But don't worry, maybe working on another project will help you. Then when you return to this project you will see the problem & solution more clearly.

Patti Lacy said...

Get a critique partner to help! SO GRATEFUL for such a wonderful support team.
P.S. I too love massages and just may treat myself after meeting all my deadlines!

Blessings, dear Patti!