Book One of the Cocktail Mysteries: The Case of Alfred Smyth Concord
Update: The writer is currently stuck trying to do the first draft of a pivotal scene. He’s so stuck, he’s started plotting book two – The Case of Being Suited. Pictures of the a real location have been taken for fictional murder scene, characters have taken shape, hell there is even a first pass at the entire plot.
What’s wrong of course is the first book isn’t done. So how can there be a second one? There can’t. It’s just procrastination. We all know this. Today we talk about getting through the scene you don’t want to write.
First of all I’m a part-time writer at best. I work full time and have an addiction to Coffee shops, which normally is my goto solution for writing. Plop the butt in a chair, put on some concentration music, and write. But the coffee shop I want to go to, is only doing take out.
Secondly, I’m really good at avoiding something. My ability to justify almost anything is legendary. Don’t take my word for it. Look at when this blog started, is there a finished submitted manuscript yet? How many should there be? (at least 3)
Third, COVID. Apparently you can blame everything on COVID. Except in this case, you can’t. I’m home a lot more with more free time on my hands and there are no good MMO’s out there to play. I’m so desperate to avoid writing this scene I started playing a first person shooter. I’ve never played a first person shooter, in my entire life…ever…that’s almost 61 years. Yes I know there weren’t video games when I grew up. And TV’s were coal powered, blah, blah, blah…
What to do? What techniques are there to get through this? That’s what we’re going to investigate. What am I going to do?
Ask someone. (Email sent, waiting a reply.)
This isn’t a new problem. Writer’s I believe have struggled with this since time immerobale.
As Stephen King wrote in The Washington Post in 2006:
“There may be a stretch of weeks or months when it doesn’t come at all; this is called writer’s block. Some writers in the throes of writer’s block think their muses have died, but I don’t think that happens often; I think what happens is that the writers themselves sow the edges of their clearing with poison bait to keep their muses away, often without knowing they are doing it.”
In his book On Writing, he described one of the few times in his life he suffered from writer’s block. He was in college, and decided not to present his new novel Sword in the Darkness to the class. This led to a four-month period of not writing, drinking beer, and watching soap operas.
The King article is a good read. As is his book On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft. I heartily recommend reading it. A writer friend of mine tries to re-read it yearly.
Where does that leave us with the unwritten scene? Exactly where we started, but, we’ve taken some steps:
- Read an article by Stephen King. What poison have I laid around that prevents from muse coming to me?
- Sent an email asking a writing coach for her thoughts.
The next blog will talk about the me getting rid of the poison that surrounds me and prevents my muse from coming by for a chat.
Small steps are still steps.