Chapter Eight was not going well. First, the writer tried to do it from one POV. Then another. She tried putting in a scene about moving, then one about children, then yet another about something she can’t remember right now because it was a totally stupid idea.
Finally she realized her problem. She was stuck. She did not know how to get from point A to point B (or rather, from point G to point H). So, instead of writing, she pondered. And pondered some more. And let her blog go. And let her hair go. And so on.
Then she decided to outline all of the chapters that she had already done. Lined them up, as it were. She determined what was missing in the story. Then she decided to line up her potential next chapters–all of her various beginnings to Chapter Eight–to see what might lend itself to moving the story forward. She came to the conclusion that none of them fit. So she came up with an alternate Chapter Eight. It fits!
Then, to avoid this stuck-syndrome for at least the next couple chapters, she outlined those as well.
**I don’t outline my whole book, mostly because I like to be surprised by what comes up. It’s more fun for me that way. However, I do have a ghostly vision of what I want to accomplish with my story so I generally know what’s gonna happen after a particular scene. But I’m not omniscient and sometimes get stuck. I find the best thing for me to do is to bite the bullet and write a scene ‘treatment’. At least I know what I’m doing for the next 30-or-so pages, right? What do you do when you get stuck on a scene? Or don’t know exactly what happens next?
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.