Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » The Brick Wall

   
Author Topic: The Brick Wall
Blake T
Member
Member # 9461

 - posted      Profile for Blake T   Email Blake T         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello fellow writers!

I have come to a point where I really cannot think of the next step, I have the arc of my story and where I want to go but I am at a loss as to what to write next.

Do any of you know of any sort of writing exercises that I can do that will engage the story, the characters or the world while potentially providing material for the rest of the story itself?

I'm just drawing a blank and I would like to get back to writing this. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Posts: 12 | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The ending of a conventional story of resolution is the emotionally satisfying, unequivocal, and irrevocable resolution of a protagonist's want and problem wanting satisfaction, or dramatic complication. Sometimes also labeled dramatic conflict, though conflict as I know it is mutually exclusive, contending stakes and outcomes, like life or death, riches or rags, acceptance or rejection, salvation or condemnation, etc.

Beginning at the beginning, what is the protagonist's want and problem wanting satisfaction?

Beginning at the ending, what is the final outcome of the protagonist's want and problem wanting satisfaction?

Throughout, what is the antagonizing force of the want and problem dramatic complication that upsets emotional equilibrium from the beginning and escalates until returning to a new emotional equilibrium in the denouement or final act outcome?

Where you are now in the storyline, is there a want and problem antagonism scenario?

Asking these questions and other who, when, and where (context), and what, why, and how (texture) questions and developing answers are for me fundamental writing exercises.

Posts: 5163 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Try writing it one page at a time---even if you have to stop in the middle of a sentence---then stop for the day (or the hour), and see if that'll engage you beyond what you've got.
Posts: 8728 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EVOC
Member
Member # 9381

 - posted      Profile for EVOC   Email EVOC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I hit that wall, I just write. By that I mean I just keep writing about what the characters would be doing.

I write about brushing their teeth, a game of monopoly they played, or what ever else I need to write until I break through that wall. And often in doing this, I discover more about the characters.

Either way, at least I am still writing.

Posts: 725 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been there too. Sometimes I wait and something comes to mind. If it doesn't after awhile than I just write like EVOC.

I've heard that sometimes working on another project helps. I haven't noticed if that is the case with me but more than one writer does it.

Posts: 5240 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blake T
Member
Member # 9461

 - posted      Profile for Blake T   Email Blake T         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'm going to try and get back on writing it shortly with some of these ideas.
Posts: 12 | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
legolasgalactica
Member
Member # 10087

 - posted      Profile for legolasgalactica   Email legolasgalactica         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When I get stuck, I just jump to another scene in the story and come back to it later. Sometimes I end up rewriting the place where I was stuck completely or even cometo realize that part is better left out.
Posts: 164 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dirk Hairychest
Member
Member # 10105

 - posted      Profile for Dirk Hairychest   Email Dirk Hairychest         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I feel confident that I have researched all I can, that I know my characters and my setting, my plot and subplots, and I am still at a loss, I stop thinking about it. I have found that my subconscious mind will continue working on the problem without me. Let yourself rest from the thing for a day a two. Clean up your work area, go for a walk, or take sitar lessons. Anything to take your mind off of the problem at hand.

In a while, while you are specifically NOT thinking about it, the answer will come to you. For me, this usually happens when I am alone in a semi-meditative state, like on the road or in the shower. Just be prepared to record that inspiration when it strikes.

Posts: 60 | Registered: Jul 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
genevive42
Member
Member # 8714

 - posted      Profile for genevive42   Email genevive42         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Try free-writing about your story until you get unstuck. These are words that intended to go into the story, but about the story. That will often let your mind sort out what it needs to.
Posts: 1993 | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My process is obviously partly more deliberative than intuitive. I had doubts about a recent project's degree of dramatic magnitude. The hunch was intuitive, a middle step was deliberative, the final answer was part intuitive, part deliberative. Incorporating the solution was more deliberative.

The thought process redux: Not dramatic enough, maybe explosions and added confrontation will increase the drama. They can't be that simple; they must fit the story and plot and be set up and prepositioned for when they matter later and developed for when they matter most. The interaction has complications that obviate conventional explosions and confrontations. One of the confrontation complications is that the interactions as they emerge must be remote at first then eventually be direct and one-on-one. Vladimir Propp's hero's journey concept from Russian folklore offers a solution: there must be three initial refusals to engage until full engagement.

Refusals and denials and the like delay complication satisfaction and develop tension from developing curiosity and are part of antagonism. The force compelling confrontation is opposed by a force causing refusal: antagonism. Readers know denial must eventually become acceptance. So in the opening, a refusal to engage averts a first potential confrontation interaction. A second interaction comes closer to full contact. A third interaction comes closer to full contact. I don't know. Maybe it's one-two-three-go or go one three.

Go on three it is. The intuitive part was developing the context and texture of the motifs and the dramatic action.

Posts: 5163 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
alliedfive
Member
Member # 7811

 - posted      Profile for alliedfive   Email alliedfive         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Blake T:
Hello fellow writers!

I have the arc of my story and where I want to go but I am at a loss as to what to write next.

If you know where it's going, you could just write "that" scene. The one at the end. Then you can backfill to get there.

I have found that when I don't know what to write next I am usually bored and don't care what comes next.

Posts: 323 | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I once had a teacher tell me there's no such thing as writer's block. When you get to a point where words aren't forming on the page, it means you aren't writing about the thing you actually want to, or you're trying to write about something you don't want to.

If you continue to stare at the screen and nothing comes out, you might want to change the subject, or at least the perspective.

Posts: 1216 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2