Wednesday, September 8, 2010

As writers we all experience writers block and it can be the most frustrating thing that we have to deal with. When I started Soul Extraction I blazed through sixteen chapters without a single roadblock. I was excited and thrilled with the fact that writer’s block was nowhere to be found. I had the book outlined from start to finish. I knew my characters, what they wanted and how they were going to achieve their goals. I thought it would be a breeze and was floating on cloud nine.

Then suddenly I was looking at a huge brick wall. I wanted to scream and pull my hair out. For weeks I tried to climb the wall only to fall back to the ground more frustrated than when I started and not to mention a sore behind. So I thought if I couldn’t climb it I would break it down. Yeah that didn’t work either. I broke a few bricks away only to find the concrete that the bricks were attached to. Looking at my bloody knuckles I wondered what now. My only other option was to go around it.

I looked around and saw a detour sign. Well guess I was going to have to go around the damned thing. As I walked the long winding road I took my time and let my imagination wonder. If I was going to take the scenic route I might as well enjoy it. I spent a whole day wandering this crazy zig zagging path and then inspiration hit. It was a long journey but it still took me back to where I needed to be as I looked up I was back at the brick wall but on the other side of it. Wow!

Along my creative detour I realized my story needed a slight deviation from my outline and I was refusing to accept it. Once I did everything fell into place. I came out the other side with a new character and realized one of my characters had grown into something I had never expected. I had to give myself permission to just open my mind and ask all the tough questions. Okay if that happens then what happens next and why? You know when your story is falling short. That’s when you have to put on the breaks and figure out how to fix it.

Sometimes the straight road is the easiest to take. Full speed ahead. Right? Well not always. Every now and then you have to take the detour and look at the scenery. You have to listen to your characters and then follow where they lead you. I know you have the story outlined but I did too. You have to be flexible the outline can be reworked. If you aren’t true to your characters then the story will fall flat. I found out I actually like taking the road less traveled. Walking the winding path alone with only my characters as company opened my eyes to what they were trying to tell me. So I hope you will take the road less traveled every once in a while.

Happy Reading and Writing,

Tabitha Blake

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