Recently, I've been having really slow writing days. My current work in progress (its working title is Yours to Love but that will probably change) is dragging along like molasses. And I'm fairly certain my main problem is that I don't know where exactly I'm going with the plot (well, apart from the fact that I did two rounds of edits on my other manuscript in less than two weeks in preparation for Pitch Wars. That didn't help my productivity at all.).
You see, I'm a devoted planner. My first novel, Here to Stay, took me three months to write despite the fact that I have a day job, a toddler, and was in the second trimester of my second pregnancy at the time. But I sat down before I started to write and planned the hell out of it. And writing Mark and Angeline's story was wonderful!
Of course, the plan changed as time passed. I realized some of the scenes wouldn't work as I'd imagined them, I added new scenes, and deleted others. But each time I hit a problem, I plotted my way forward before actually starting to write. If you think about writing as a geographical metaphor, I hit an obstacle in the road (a huge rock or a fallen tree), then took out a map and found the alternative route on the map instead of wandering blindly around the obstacle and getting lost in the forest/falling into the nearest swamp.
But now? Now I'm somewhere in that swamp, people. My writing feels dull and directionless and I don't want to write this story because I feel like I'm only digging myself deeper and deeper. I'll have to find my way out of this bog before I get back on the right track and the thought of editing this underwhelming mess just makes me shudder.
So why don't I plot this novel as well? I have no idea. I'll have to kick my butt into action and see what needs to happen next. So far, I know where Nathan and Riley start off (ignoring each other) and I know where they end (in each other's arms, enjoying their happily-ever-after). Now all I have to do is connect the dots that will take them from one place to the other, right? *stares at the blank page with wide, hopeful eyes*
Anyway, maybe I just need a day or two away from the story. Maybe I need a day or two away from writing fiction! (I'm still writing because I'm keeping my #writechain going.) Maybe I need to stare at my Pinterest inspiration board for a while. Maybe I need to remind myself why I fell in love with their story in the first place and fall back in love with it. This is me giving this story another try. I'll let you know how it goes!
What do you do when you're stuck with your story?
Do you plot it in advance or do you let yourself roam through the woods and the marshes?
I'd love to hear from you!