Monday, March 16, 2015

Sometimes, it's just necessary to talk to someone.

I've been having a frustrating couple of writing weeks centering around the third book in The War of Six Crowns. 

In case you've missed updates on it, I've had to re-draft it twice now. I haven't had time to mention that right before the house move came, I got seriously stuck. The moment I got past the re-introduction of the characters in the current draft, the wheels fell off spectacularly.

I just couldn't seem to make the book work in my head. It even got to the point where I was wondering whether I had to scrap the whole idea for what I had in mind for this book, which meant scrapping the whole rest of the series, because a significant amount of it depends on the events taking place right now.

Just like everything depends on the two first books.

And you know what? There comes a point where one's fears multiply to such a point that you can't even think straight about something. No amount of telling myself to be rational and just think things through helped. The moment I put serious thought into this book, any thoughts that might have been stewing away vanished and I was again left with nothing but a vague yet growing sense of panic.

So what's a girl to do? I went to the Untethered Realms Facebook group and said:

"I can't seem to make book three in my series work. *curls up into a sobbing little ball of misery.*"

Luckily Graeme Ing stepped in and offered to help. How? Basically by asking me a ton of questions about the first two books, then the third. 

It might sound silly, but it really helps. I think it's just the fact that writing out the answers for him required that at least at first, I had to stick with what I knew. Once there, I could focus on what I didn't know and needed. 

Scary thing: Everything that's not working comes from two causes: 1) I've been nitpicking just to add more problems to my process. (Panic does that. Creates problems where there aren't any so I have more reason to panic.) 2) I haven't yet figured out how to get two characters to meet. 

That second one... it's... well. Stupid. I've been panicking about something stupid. It's just that when one panics, it's not easy to get into perspective again. Talking to someone else puts things into perspective. Even if I'd talked other writers through their plot problems in exactly the same way. 

Sometimes, another set of ears is just necessary. 

Do you have another set of ears? No? Well, you have me. All you have to do is drop me a line. mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com. 


  1. I've been there. I've got at least another book to write this year after my current WIP, and there's so much playing on my mind about them all.

  2. Know what you mean. I'm writing a new draft on Killer Stilettos.

  3. That's why I bounced the outlines for my last two books off one of my critique partners. He gave me ideas that solidified the story. Glad Graeme was able to help you.

  4. Heh, I've been trying to catch up on blogs and reading back a few posts I saw how you'd been living in a caravan. That's me in a couple months. I'm glad you got into a house. I'm not sure how long we'll be in one, or exactly what will happen. Don't you love the unknown?

  5. Paul, I know the feeling. Sometimes my brain feels a lot like spaghetti.

    Ooh, Shelly, good luck with that!

    Alex, that's a great way to make sure things work. :-)

    Sara, I hope your caravan living will be a short stint, and that your water and power will at least be reliable.


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