Ahoy there, mateys!
Today being treacherous and all, I thought I’d throw out a few things to think about if you are stalled in any stage of your story (like life preservers). We’ve all heard that if things are slow kill someone off. But what if you’re writing a romance and don’t want any dead people? What if you’re writing an adventure man vs. nature kind of thing? You can’t kill your main character just to spice things up – unless you’re writing paranormal and he comes back from the dead and that’s the point…
But I digress. So you’re stuck somewhere in the middle, or the beginning, or almost the end and you don’t know what to do. Best advice I’ve ever heard? This comes from PIXAR’s 22 Rules of storytelling which I highly recommend you find – #9 When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. More often than not, the material that gets you unstuck appears.
Now, if that doesn’t work there is no need to fret. Sit down and free associate some words on a piece of paper. What is your story about? What do want it to say? How can you put your characters in hot water instead of a tepid bath? You don’t have to take the first thing you think of. In fact you might not want to since it is probably the easiest and most common solution. Move down to number ten. Is it fascinating? What about eight? Too cheeky? Enough cheek to get you rolling?
Whatever it takes, even jumping to the next section and going back later (which makes me shudder in agony to even think about doing) DO IT! The story will still be there and maybe it’s better and maybe it’s worse. But then comes editing and no one has to know that you gave your hero a teddy bear he can’t sleep without!