When You Hit that Writer’s Bump in the Road

A reader asks:

I have been writing a fiction story of crime, but have come to a bump in the road. Do you have any ideas on how to continue?

I can only tell you one thing and that’s write and keep on writing. Don’t suddenly let your writing time get bogged down by other things. The minute you do you’re going to lose it to something horrible like laundry or weeding. Instead of walking away, shake things up. Instead of working on that same book, or that same scene, sit down to work on something else. Take your protagonist to a faraway land or on a new adventure, get to know her in a different way. Maybe take a look at a secondary character or write a completely different scene or even, write a completely different book.

Not everything you write needs to be about what you’re writing, it also doesn’t need to be published. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you’ve hit a bump in the writing road it’s because you’re struggling with your book in some way. Maybe in a way you didn’t even know. Maybe you’ve gotten to the point where what’s supposed to happen next isn’t working and instead of letting it flow in its natural direction, you’re busy trying to force it. Or maybe you’re just bored with this book (a good sign you need to shake the book up). Maybe it’s just not the book you’re supposed to be writing at all.

By writing something else, maybe even a journal about your writing, you will likely to find the reason for the bump and be able to clear it gracefully. Whatever you do, face this challenge head on and keep on writing, because that’s the secret to success.

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One comment

  1. As an aspiring writer I can tell you we’ve all been there. For me, a bump usually means there’s a problem with the story. For what it’s worth, my strategy is to take a small break from the story to do something ‘writing related’, eg write a blog post or read a craft book – all the while the story simmers. Then when I’m ready to face it I sit down and read through what I have written, noting in a few words the central focus of each scene. Usually I can then see where the problem is and can keep writing (although sometimes that means going back over what has been written and making some changes).

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