You Heard It Here: The Other Side of THAT.

I’d been wondering what I wanted to blog about and since I have two blogs going on the same day, I thought I’d toss the coin, literally, and talk about both sides of it… Make sense? Probably not, but it will if you read both of blogs. (I know… very devious of me. My bad. <G>)

First of all, my topic is writing. Not everybody who reads these will be a writer, but I think 99% of the people in the world have contemplated writing their story or someone elses… they just maybe haven’t gotten around to doing it.

So… What side of the coin is this… that has to do with writing? The “stuck” side. What happens when you have a story idea… you have the characters and general idea of what you want for them, but no earthly clue how to get them started? OR… you get them started and have no clue where to go? And what if these characters are NO help to you whatsoever? What if they’re not in your ear saying, “Yo, Dee J, this is boring, can you blow up this car or put a sniper on the roof so I can save the love of my life before she’s riddled with bullets?”


I know… you’re laughing at me (and the blank page I’ve posted above). I am too. (Actually, I’m crying, but that’s okay. I’ll get over it. <G>) I always joke that you can tell when I’m stuck in one of my books because I blow something up. That’s not always true. (Although it might be true a little bit of the time. LOL.) I try to come up with a strong enough conflict that will make my characters work hard to overcome. If that conflict is strong enough and my characters are smart enough, they can drive the story. But as I mentioned… what if they don’t feel like sharing with me? There I am, back in stuck city with no power or emergency kit. My brain is dark, my story is begging for some help and I’m looking for inspiration. (To read the other side of this coin, check out my blog at Not Your Usual Suspects today.)

What’s the answer? No really. I’m asking… What’s the answer? Does anyone have any great ways to get unstuck? Is it about the characters, the conflict or all of the above? Are there other factors involved that I’m not even considering?

Okay, talk amongst yourselves…but not too quietly. I’d like to hear what you have to say because currently, I need help!!



You Heard It Here: The Other Side of THAT. — 12 Comments

  1. For me, when I get stuck it’s usually because what I’ve written before the stuckage DOESN’T WORK. So until I recognize that and rip that sucker of a paragraph/page/chapter out, I can’t move forward because my characters aren’t in the best spot for the story. And that’s usually because – yep, you got it – not enough conflict. They like each other too fast. They fall into bed too fast. They can see the rest of their life with the other person – too fast. Hm…maybe if I write the END of the book, then I can work backwards because I’ll have gotten the happy out of the way? Something to think about!

    Cheers, Goob!

    • Hi Christine!
      Yes! I hear that. When it all comes together too quickly, it means there just isn’t enough conflict! Oh, that C word. LOL. Now to come up with solid conflict! I wrote my very first book from the beginning of the ending, having no idea what the beginning was going to be until I finished and had to start with Chapter 1. LOL. Maybe I should try that again. Thanks for stopping in!

  2. For me the STUCKAGE is always about the character. I haven’t dug deep enough into internal motivation to make my characters believable. If the internal motivation is there on the page and palpable then the external motivation and the conflict (or the blow ’em ups) will be natural. They’ll work because they are part of his/her true nature.

    • Hi Robena,
      What a great point! Character motivation is so important. It’s got to be equal to conflict I think. They are both so vital to a well rounded, strong story. Thanks for the reminder and so glad you dropped by!

  3. Love your coin this morning! When I’m stuck, the best thing for me is to take a break. Step away from the computer and give my story thoughts a rest. Then, thankfully, something usually pops into my head that gets me back on track. Sometimes it takes hours. Sometimes a day or two. Oh, and a cupcake always helps, too. 😉 Not the story. But me.

    • Hi Robin,
      I hear ya. I’m just afraid I’ve been away from the computer for TOO LONG at this point. LOL. I need me some conflict, internal character shit. LOL. LOVE the cupcake idea! Need to get me some of that too. Haha! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Now this I can relate to! LOL. I think when the story gets stuck it must have to do with either the internal or external conflict. Something isn’t holding up. If you’re talking about blowing something up, then I think it might involve a third character – the villain. Their conflict Internal and External, must be as air tight as the main characters. Maybe that’s the hold up?

    thanks for both telling sides of the coin.

    • Hi Lynne,
      Yeah, you’re right. It’s in the conflict for me. I don’t seem to have any. Ugh. I do need to figure out the villain as well, so that might help. I hadn’t thought of that aspect. Thank you! Thanks for dropping in!

  5. Some days it feels like I’m living in Stuckville, so, a while back, I took a class taught by Shirley Jump and she introduced this trick she calls, “The Rule of Six.” Now, when I’m stuck, I wrack my feeble little brain for six ways I could take the scene … and go with the six thing I come up with, (which, strangely, usually involves blowing something up … hmmm).

    • Hi Sam,
      That’s a great idea! I’ll have to get right on that. But, LOL, I do love blowing things up. There’s nothing like an explosion to motivate our characters into action! Thanks for the help and for stopping by!

  6. I am with Christine on this. When I am stuck it is because something hasn’t worked and I’ve ignored it. It can be that I am totally wrong on the GMC of a character. It can be the scene before or the one before it. If I go back to where it was working, then look again at what happened after that, I usually find out what is wrong and then that involves lots of ripped out words. (sigh)

    • Hi Maria,
      Yeah, ripping out words sucks. LOL. Hate when THAT happens. I’ve been taking into consideration everyone’s comments and I’m actually working my way through the problems. I think I’ll have print out everyone’s suggestions. Thanks for dropping by!