Some fear the blank page. I fear the half-written page.
I was writing along, doing great on a story when life interrupted (how dare it!). Has that happened to you? You know where the story is going, you’re in the drafting mode and going strong and BANG! Something happens. You have to set the story aside for a while.
Momentum is lost.
The story almost seems lost, too.
Picking up the Threads of an Abandoned Story
The first thing I’ll do this week is re-read the story. It’s important to see what I actually put on the page.
Next, I’ll try to recapture the excitement and recreate my mindset. This means looking at notes, images, reference material or anything else that will help remind me of my place in the story. Maybe I’ll need to write a letter to myself about how excited I was when I was writing the story.
Retype a chapter. If that doesn’t help, I’ll retype a chapter and make small edits as I go.
Move the pen across the page. When I taught freshman composition, I used a technique that always worked. I insisted that the student move the pen across the page and write words. In other words, they had to go through the motions of writing.
“What do I write?” they moaned.
“I don’t know what to write.”
OK. Write this sentence and keep writing it until you want to write something else:
I don’t know what to write, so I am writing this dumb sentence.
Inevitably, after writing that sentence once or twice, the student segued into something else.
If all else fails to get me back into the story. I’ll do the same thing. I’ll sit and go through the motions of writing until I get so bored with the drivel that I’ll start to get creative and something will happen. I only hope what happens on the page is magic!