Sunday, September 12, 2010


There's something about Sunday mornings that feels so good, so relaxing. I love just lazying around as the sun slowly rises. It makes me wish I were in the mountains, sitting on the deck of cabin, surrounded by tall pines, drinking peppermint tea!

Then I come back to reality. I have a sick baby, the hubby's gone hunting and I have to be a single parent! Ha!

So, on to my quandary. What do you do when you've written a fabulous story and you get to a place where you just can't think of what to do next. Yeah, I have an idea how the story will end, but I'm stuck. I need something exciting to happen to propel it forward. In the past, I would stick the book on a back burner and start something new, but I'm a professional now! LOL I should be smart enough to solve this!

So, how do you all do it? Do you pray for a miracle, then sit with your fingers poised over the keyboard waiting for brilliance? Any tips?

Let me know!


Scott said...

When I'm stuck I make lists. My lists usually contain instructions to myself on all the possible outcomes and when I've thoroughly explained all that can happen I often find what should happen. That or I'll lay back or sit and stare and start the movie up in my head about what I think would be a proper next step and if it takes off I know it's right but if I can't even imagine it in detail then I know I'm on the wrong track. Just a couple thoughts. Good luck with the single-parenthood today!

Jenn said...

When I'm stuck I go back to the last place in the story that seemed absolutely brilliant and I was excited about. If the excitement is gone, I figure I've gone off course. Then I go for a walk or do something that doesn't require me sitting in front of my story, while I contemplate alternate routes to get to where I'm headed in the story. Then when you least expect it, you'll get an idea that you think is even MORE brilliant than your original idea and you're off!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I either go back and read up to that point or skip ahead to the next major scene in my outline.

Old Kitty said...

Oh I hope your baby is feeling better!! And I hope you are ok being single parent for the day!

I've given up wishing to be inspired when I'm stuck. I just move on somewhere else to regroup then return and hope for the best! LOL!!!

Good luck with your current story - sounds ever so exciting!

Take care

KarenG said...

Just keep on rockin' it Melissa. Yay no comment moderation!

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Jenn--that is a really good idea. I'm going to do that.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Whenever I'm stuck, I put the MS on the back burner and divert my attention to something else. I clean, garden, cook, excercise, have lunch with friends, or even play a game of poker etc.

Doing this relieves the self imposed pressure to come up with an idea. Then, just like that (snaps fingers) the solution presents itself.

Unfortunately, I'm usually somewhere inconvenient like the shower, or driving, or in bed at night. I've learned to keep my cell phone close so I can record the ideas before they fade into the darkest recesses of my memory.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I recommend putting it up for a little while and do lots of reading and lots of good movie watching. Those two things uncork the creative juices for me like almost nothing else.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

You know? You all are probably right. I should just put it on the back burner, but I don't want to! LOL Maybe I'll give it a couple of days.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Hey! I'm posting an award for you over on my blog later this morning. Thanks for the follow!

Re: your quandary: If I'm stuck on a scene, I ask myself what's the worst thing that could happen at this moment. Usually I come up with a cliched bit of drivel (see?), but it seems to unlock my imagination and other stuff bubbles up that I can use. Or I go sit on my perch outside on my porch and gaze at the trees for a bit until the MS talks to me. Barring that, I skip ahead and write a later scene :D

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Hey Zoe! Thanks for stopping by! I LOVE your advice. I should have thought of that. It's what every writer learns in the course of...writing. LOL

Thanks for the reminder. I needed it.

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