Friday, April 4, 2014

The Hope of Memory [Update 20] Writer's Block

So it had to happen eventually... writer's block.  Though maybe not a true instance, where I'm stymied from writing anything at all for a long period of time, it's close enough.

Rom Tar, the 3rd book in my The Hope of Memory trilogy, is proving to be a challenge on many levels.  I started it in late September 2013, but I'm only now approaching the halfway point.  I've been toiling on the same 3 chapters for the last two months.  

Part of the slowdown has been due to buying a house, moving in and remodeling the kitchen (maybe I'll post photos at some point).  Along with being very busy at work, this has taken up a lot of my time.  Many days when I finally finish for the day and have some free time, the last thing I want to do is work more.  On those days I might eek out a page or so... but usually I'm just not inspired enough to get much done.  This is why there have been very few blog posts lately.  Busy bee!

The other part has been simple writer's block.  This book is much more complex than the previous two, and as I neared the end of the first Part of the book, I couldn't figure out exactly how I was going to get to the next major plot point in a believable fashion.  I didn't know what to write and most of it I had to force out.

Broad Strokes vs Detailed Outlines
I'm the kind of writer that outlines the story in broad strokes.  I know how everything ends and the major plot points along the way.  Once I know that I start writing.  I can't bring myself to plot out a story in minute detail, because that isn't fun for me and it's not how I create.  I discover better ideas as I write, so I always leave the details vague and usually everything works out.  If I get stuck on something, I go take a walk and think about it a while, and usually a solution comes to me.

Well... not this time.  This is the downside of "broad strokes."  You may eventually encounter a problem that requires rewriting, or produces a long delay.  And in the case of a series like this, if something is already published (The Distant), you can't go back and change it (for the most part).

But just the other day I figured it out.  Eureka!  A way to bridge the gap in the story.  Unraveling the Meereenese Knot, so to speak, though hardly on the scale that George R.R. Martin had to deal with.  Not that I'm anywhere near the same level as Martin, but when you go through something like this, you gain much more respect for authors who create vast, multi-volume epics like The Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice and Fire.  It's really hard.

Anyway, I'm at around 80K words now.  Close to halfway.  Need to get it done this summer so I can revise Wilders for release.