Monday, July 27, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Belinda here.

In this case my friends are James Scott Bell and God. Yep. Those two. (There is a third friend but you'll have to read on to see you it is.)

So I'm working on my current manuscript. At the beginning I was very excited. I had a great start, great characters, lots going on. But then it hits. Middle-itis. My characters are in chatsville, they are staring at each other, blah, blah, blah and it continues.

Yes, I was stuck in the middle again. Now I know this is because I don't plot but I can't plot and that's another blog for another day. (This way is working out for on.)

So, I pick up my Plot and Structure book by James Scott Bell. Click here to buy the book. Go to writers section of his website. I flip to to the section titled Middles and I start reading. What he says resonates with me. It makes sense, it makes me think, and it makes me work. So after all this thinking and working I come up with this:

My heroine has nothing to lose if she doesn't find what she's looking for. Nothing. This is a problem.

So, back to work I go. I chat with Missy about it (friend #3)and that goes well. I have the day Saturday to write. I dont' get too much written but things are stewing in my head. I get up early Sunday monring to write before church. I pull out my "Unwritten" Journal I posted about a couple of blogs ago and I write this:

"Thank You Lord for You. Thank You for giving me the desire to do this and for the ideas You give me." Then I started jotting down ideas. Just jotting with no particular direction. Then it hits me.....BAM!!!! I come up with an external scenario that conflcits with my heroine's internal struggle. After church I came home and wrote almost 2000 words. The manuscript is flowing again. Praise God!

Don't ever think you are alone in this lonely writing world. You have God. You have your favorite how-to authors. I highly suggest the Plot and Structure Book by James Scott Bell. He also has a how-to book on revising which I'm going to buy after I finish this book. It will be my reward..and of course I'll need it to---you got it---revise.

Do you have any favorite How-To books you'd like to share? Or anything you do to get out of the middle of being stuck while writing. Thanks for sharing!!


  1. Wonderful news, Belinda!! I hate it when I get caught in the middle too. I read so many how-to books on writing that they all spark help in one way or another. I've got James Scott Bells too, yes, it is helpful.

  2. Hey, great post, Belinda. It's frustrating getting stuck, isn't it?

    I've got James Scott Bell's book as well. Great one.

    I'm glad you worked through it and are on track again. Write on, sister.

  3. Well, thanks to Lindi's suggestion, I yanked that book back off the shelf (well, not a shelf, but a crate of books!). And I'm about to take another look. :)

    I'm glad it's moving again, Lindi! I look forward to reading more.


  4. You know, I needed to read this today. I think I'd forgotten to thank God for the desire to write and help others with my writing. I don't know why I forgot, but I did. So thank you, Lindi, for reminding me to be grateful before I am expecting. I'm just grateful that God has knit into me the desire to write.

  5. Eileen....the how-to books are incredible. I'm glad we live in an age where they are plentiful!!

  6. Lynn,
    thanks for the encouragement. Girl, you write really fast--i'm trying to be like you!

  7. Missy---you are always a great big help no matter where I'm stuck...beginning, middle or end.

  8. Ang,
    I write that because it's true. Sometimes I don't have the desire to write, but I think if we keep asking Him He will reinforce in us the gift he gave us.