Sometimes it takes a layperson

As I’ve mentioned (a lot) lately, I’ve been struggling with the middle of my manuscript. The middle is hard! It’s so hard that there are basically endless articles on how to get un-stuck and tighten it up.

But it turns out I also had another problem!

I don’t really believe in ‘writer’s block.’ Not as it’s usually presented anyway. But people who do will probably recognize the symptoms when I was stalled out. I was adding a few words here and there, but I wasn’t actually making forward progress.

Then I mentioned to Kevin that I felt like I was stagnating because I couldn’t find the right words, the right scene.

And he said “It’s just your first draft. It doesn’t have be good, right?”

And, friends, the light bulb went “ding!”

I was struggling to fill the middle so then I’d turned it into quicksand, which turned into a much bigger trap than “I don’t know what goes here!”

As much as I wanted this to be the manuscript where my first draft was 70,000 words and virtually perfect, that’s just not how I work.

So I wrote a bunch of garbage that I can fix later and my first draft will probably end up being about 40,000 words because that’s just how I write. Clues and character development and plot points just happen later.

Do I still wish I was a plotter and my first drafts were magically perfect?


But they’re not. And at least I’m making forward motion again!

Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to get you un-stuck.

Thanks Kevin!

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