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I’ve Started Writing Again – Beating Writer’s Block

I’ve Started Writing Again – Beating Writer’s Block by Author Lauren Mayhew

How to Break Writers BlockThere’s nothing worse than writer’s block, especially when you’re between projects. I know what I’m supposed to be doing, I’m just finding it hard getting round to doing it. I have so many projects in my head, but I don’t want to start too many. If I do, I’ll never complete any of them, I’ll just keep starting new ones.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve slowly been reading through the book that I wrote for NaNoWriMo. It’s got a Working Title – Cycles of War. This is what it’s been called for about ten years now, though I didn’t properly start writing it until November 2016. I finished reading the other day, adjusting a few things here and there, but not really editing properly yet. I just wanted to slowly get my way back into the world that I created. It was very eye-opening actually, as the book isn’t nearly as finished as I thought it was.

Chapter six is literally just that. The word ‘SIX’. I decided to skip that chapter when I was writing it, as I didn’t want to slow the flow. (That rhymed!) I know what I want to put in there, I just need to write it and make sure it’s relevant to the rest of the book. I also haven’t written the ending yet. You know, the chapter that comes after the real ending? The chapter that ties everything up and lets you know what happened to the characters that you loved. At least I know where I want that chapter to go, unlike six.

There were also a few moments when characters referenced something that I hadn’t written yet. For example, someone asks the main character, Bri, if the events that are unrolling in real-time, are the same as the dream he had the night before. I didn’t write a dream. That really confused me when I read it.

I need to add a little more character development too. Unlike the Liliana trilogy, this book has a lot more characters in it. Each of them needs to have their own story and their own reasons for being there. At the moment, they’re just there. I think I’ll enjoy adding more in about them.

It’s the little things like this that I’ve forgotten after leaving the book alone for over a year. It’s good, because they stand out more than they would have done if the story was more familiar to me, but it also means there’s a lot more to do than I initially intended.

I wrote this book without a plan, and it’s turned out pretty well if I’m honest. There aren’t any plot holes as far as I can see, just a lot of vague details. It’s around 51,000 words at the moment, but I’m hoping to get it towards 60,000, if not 70,000 by the time it’s finished. I may have to change the confrontation at the end to make this happen. At the moment it’s quite Stephanie Meyer-esque. I may need to kill a few more people – how terrible does that sound?

When I wrote this book, I’d never written a proper battle scene before, so I wrote a confrontation that didn’t involve a lot of fighting. It kind of goes with all the themes in the book, but it’s not ‘real’ enough. ‘Eternity Begins’, the third book in the Liliana trilogy, has a massive battle at the end. About a third of the book, I believe. Now that I’ve written that, and had positive feedback from it, I’m more confident that I can write something bigger and better. It’ll help increase the word count too!

I intend to query this one, not self-publish. It’s a bigger story than my trilogy and it feels relevant to the events happening around the world today. There’s still a long way to go, with many rounds of edits, and lots of Beta readers if possible too. I’m feeling confident that I can do it. I just need to start.


Want more from Lauren? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted by Lauren Mayhew.

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For a Good Time, call an Indie!

Indie AuthorWritten by Cynthia Port

Dear Reader,

 

Writers are reputed to be a bit standoffish, a bit inside their own wonky, tortured heads.  We’re either alcoholics, or suicidal, or just plain don’t like our fellow human beings.  By logical extension then, authors, as a group, must not want to be bothered by the “little people” who are lucky enough to read their books, right?  They must find such extra-literary contact irksome, sycophantic, even stalky.  Now listen carefully because I’m only going to write this the one time:

 

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

 

I cannot speak for the Rowlings, the Kings or the Kingsolvers of this world because I don’t know any of them, but I know a lot (as in many, many hundreds) of indie authors, and to a person they revel in hearing from readers.  I know this because the briefest note left on their FB author page, the slightest comment made in the grocery store, an email, a tweet, a blurry instagram pic (tinted to look like a Polaroid from 1963), anything that indicates someone out there likes their writing—sends that author trumpeting joy all over social media like a happiness t-shirt cannon.  Hearing from readers makes indie authors giddily, unreasonably, even stalkily, happy.

 

So please, Readers, don’t be shy.  Don’t be sitting there all on your lonesome as you turn the last page of a cool indie novel, thinking, “Gee willickers, I loved this book.  I wonder if the author is going to write a sequel?  I wonder if any of it is biographical?  I wonder if the centaur knew the chewing gum was inside that marshmallow before he gave it to the toothless guinea pig?  Oh, well, I guess I’ll never know, because surely this author wouldn’t want to hear from the likes of me.”

 

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! (Yes, I wrote it twice in case you weren’t listening the first time.)

 

Trust me—hearing from you is her/his lifeblood and will make his/her day. You don’t even have to say anything brilliant, pithy or insightful.  On the contrary, it would be impossible for you to make a comment or ask a question about an indie book that the author of said book does not want to receive.  To prove my point, here are some questions that might, on the surface, seem unwelcome, followed by a typical indie author’s response:

 

Did you hire a two-year-old to write this drivel?

“Thank you so much for contacting me.  Funny you should ask, because my two year old did give me the idea about the marshmallow and the gum!”

 

 

Why do you bother getting up in the morning if this is the result?

“So nice to hear from you. I do most of my writing in the evening.”

 

 

Can I pay you to stop writing books?

“That is so sweet. You mean like a Kickstarter?”

 

 

See?  No harm no foul.  Though if you ask questions like this, you may find yourself written into a novel only to be gummed to death by a toothless guinea pig.  But hey, that could be adorable!

 

I’m nearing the end of my word count, but let me add one more thing.  If you are a parent, grandparent or teacher, please encourage and help (as needed) a young person to contact a favorite indie author.  I often hear from young readers, and it makes me even more unreasonably giddy than when I hear from adult readers, because adding to the pleasure a child experiences through reading is, well, one of the highest accomplishments I can think of.

 

So take it from an Indie: we understand. You’ve been hurt before in your attempts to form meaningful relationships with traditionally published authors.  But give us a try—we’re easy, and we’ll love you right back.

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