Writing update #1: STUCK! 😱

by A writer's life

During these past few months, I’ve written and rewritten page after page in what’s supposed to be my first novel. Only, the word count is staying almost exactly the same.

I’m stuck!

At the start of winter — that’s southern-hemisphere winter, in case you were wondering — I finished the first part of my first novel.

It took me forever to finish that part, so I was pretty excited to start on the next one…

The second part is where all the fun stuff happens. The story’s set up, and it’s time to get to play (and work). Hijinks, quests, developing the hero and the other characters, the B-story, delivering the promise of the premise. All the stuff that leads to where everything comes crashing down, and then in part three the hero just maybe snatches a victory of sorts from the jaws of a big, bad shapeshifter-wolf-type monster.

So, when I sat down to start on part two, I figured the book would practically write itself from that point on.

But no… I’m so very stuck.

Since starting part two about three months ago, I’ve been going around in circles with the first scene. Writing and rewriting.

All up, I’ve squeezed out 1300 words in that time, not counting the probably 5000 words I’ve written and deleted and written again and deleted again.

But now I think I know why…

Know thy characters

The protagonist and the hero of my book are two separate characters. The first part of the book was all written from the protagonist’s point of view. Let’s call him Robin.

Then the hero (the hero is a she, by the way – her name is Tara) tumbled into Robin’s life and now they’re stuck with each other. So I was planning to alternate between Robin and Tara’s point of view for the rest of the book.

But so far, I’ve only been trying to write part two from Robin’s POV still.

The problem — I just realised yesterday — is, I don’t really know Tara all that well yet, as she only just popped into the book about 10 pages ago.

When I started writing part two through the eyes of Robin, it was really hard for me to get a feel for Tara’s personality, thoughts, and feelings.

The fix? Immediately start writing from Tara’s POV. That way I can spend more time in her brain, getting to know her better.

(She’s a warrior princess of sorts, by the way. And she’s really cool. I just have to figure out what makes her awesome. I’m looking forward to it.)

So there you go… You have to know the characters you’re writing about to write about them. I sort of forgot. Which got me stuck.

That, or I just made another excuse for procrastinating.

I’ll get back to you on that in the next update.