Writer’s block gets far too much credit for words not written and false starts on manuscripts.
Not being able to develop a character or plot to move the story forward is maddening. However, sometimes a lack of words is not the problem but the overabundance of words vomited by your brain!
After finishing a twenty-five-hundred-word chapter, you read it and cringe in horror at the forty-seven adverbs, nineteen pronouns, twelve dialogue tags, and eleven uses of the word ‘had.’
You believe writing is not your calling and consider a career in the food service industry where name tags and hats are required.
Instead, you delete the paragraph and start over.
You’re dealing with another type of writer’s block—one where you’re blocking yourself from moving forward because you’re trying to write the perfect first draft using the rules.
Everyone’s first draft is craptastic—you’re not going to be the exception.
First drafts get rewritten during the editing stage … hence the name FIRST draft.
Your story can (and will) change, making the chapter you’re agonizing over irrelevant.
Your editor could say the chapter doesn’t add to the story. Wave goodbye to the chapter.
Your MS will go through more changes than an Academy Awards show host.
Take a deep breath … and exhale.
Now. Write your story.
Let the words flow. Good, bad, passive, indifferent. Get them on paper.
Write your story. Finish it … and take a break from it.
After your break, make a copy of your MS and put it away.
Now you can use the rules and fix the excessive adverbs, run-on sentences and five-hundred-sixty-five occurrences of the word ‘that’ … or maybe that was just me.
Line up your Beta-readers and alert your editor.
And when you’re holding your published book in print form or on your reader, take out the saved copy of your first draft and compare the two.
You turned something craptastic into literature.
Pat your yourself on the back … and start all over again.
Write your story.