a little bit of navel-gazing

Fiction, I once read in an old issue of Writer’s Digest, is one damn thing after another. Things have to happen in order for the reader to stay engaged and interested. (I have read, as I’m sure we all have, novels that are mostly people thinking about things, but they’re not ones that I’ve reread over and over.) In genre fiction, at least, you want more than just the narrator wondering if he should have called Rachel or waited for Rachel to call him, and oh doesn’t Rachel’s eyes remind him of that time in the park when he dropped his ice cream, and why didn’t his father buy him more ice cream…

You get the idea.

The reason for all this dithering is to say this: Nanowrimo has again not worked for me. While I got 13,000 words into the rough draft, I’ve still got an incomplete rough draft and not enough umph to finish it, because I don’t know what should happen next. I mean, I have an outline, and there’s a plot point at the juncture, but I don’t know how to show it. I can’t think of the damn things that should happen one after another.

This is problematic.

Sometimes I can sit down and just write and whatever those damn things should be just pop into mind, no struggle on my part. But sometimes–and this mostly happens with my intended-for-publication stories–I just can’t. It’s like a very specific form of writer’s block.

(Worst of all, when I look at my list of things I want to have finished in the next two months, it makes me want to just crawl under the blankets and play Plants vs. Zombies until the end of days.)

I am writing. I’m just not writing the things I need to be writing.

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