Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hitting my stride?

Yesterday we woke up to no water in the house. Something had gone awry with the well, the pump, or something techinical like that. Well company came out, took a looksee.
Rather than stay in a house with no water while they fixed the issue, I packed things up and headed to Caribou Coffee. When I stepped inside, I inhaled the wonderful aromas. And the barrista had my Earl Grey ready before I even stepped up to the counter. Made me think of the theme song from Cheers, "Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your na-a-ame...." (You're singing it in your head right now, aren't you?)
I wrote 1000 words on Lily. And because I sensed I was getting stuck on the plot, I did what any good writer of westerns does. I shot somebody! :) Plot ideas came rolling thick and fast then. And I've realized anew that in order to really stimulate my creative juices, I need to up the conflict. If I'm blocked, it's because things aren't bad enough for my characters.
How do you hit your stride with writing? Is there a sure-fire way to make the words flow faster?
Also, have you heard of the Wisconsin Christian Writer's Conference? A one day conference in central Wisconsin. And all for 25 bucks! You can't beat that. Watch this space for more information in the coming days. :)


  1. Erica, Now I'll probably be singing that song all day! :) But that's cool you have a place to go where you can write! And I agree, often when I'm having trouble with my next section of plot, I vamp up the conflict and tension, have something bad happen to MC. And then it makes it fun to write again!

  2. YES! I'm learning (from this awesome person I know) to UP the conflict for my characters. And every time I do it, my writing flows out of my fingers SO much faster. Plus, it's just fun to write!

  3. Hope it was a bad guy that got whumped and not Cal!!!!

  4. Is your water fixed?!?!

    Nothing helps me hit my stride except putting more words out. Once I hit 500 or so things usually unclog in my brain and I can take off from there.

  5. Good morning, all! Yes, G, the water is fixed, though I'm not sure what was wrong with it. Guess we'll find out when the bill comes. :)

    I'm back at the writing today and things are going better. Nothing like shooting someone to get the ball rolling. And CJ, it wasn't Cal...yet. :)

  6. Wish I was closer to Wisconsin at that price.

    I tend not to hit my stride until the middle of the book. I don't know if it's because I haven't really grasped my characters until then, or what, but that seems to be the way always for me.

    Praise God, I'm at the middle of my current one now.

    And that jingle is much better than the one I did have in my mind. So thank you!

  7. Okay, the curious want to know what the jingle was that you had in your mind, Eileen. :)

    In the past, I've whined my way through the first 10K or so words of a new WIP, (as my crit partners can attest.)

    I think it was because I was writing SOTP instead of knowing where I was going. There were so many choices out there and ways the story COULD go, that it paralyzed me. As I made choices and the logical avenues open to me narrowed, the writing got faster.

    Now I write from a loose outline, and it's made things easier (unless you do like I did with the current WIP and have a post-it called "Hero Saves The Day" but no real concept of how he's going to do that.) Sigh.

  8. Sorry about your water problem. But hey, you shot a character, so some good came out of it! Ha!

  9. As my hubbie would say, you watcheth too much TV! LOL

  10. I've never seen Cheers so the song went in one ear and out the other. The water problem I can relate to only too well. Our well goes dry at least once a summer - usually more. We go down to the basement and run water from the cistern into the well and fill it back up. Hopefully, we will have rain soon to fill them both up.

    Took a class on plot not long ago and that was one way to up the ante - put the MC into an impossible situation then write your way out. A book on craft I once read said that when the plot sags - bring out a big cannon. :) So far I've never had to do that - but then, I'm writing for mid-grade ages.