Tuesday 26 April 2011

Novel Update - Building Those Bridges. . .

I haven't given one of these for sometime but, to be honest, there's not a lot to report.

My new novel, 'Lady of the Seas', that was started beginning of February, is taking a break. (Here's a reminder of the opening chapter I posted for those who want a read) It started off so well then went on strike. I have a feeling that this strike won't be lasting too long, though. And I also know the reason for this strike.

I've come steaming full pelt to a river with no bridge, ending in a sudden stop. I need to build this bridge before my story can continue. It's a wee flaw in my plotting and planning. I need to write this section to enable the rest of the story to flow - all of which I know and is plotted. It's just this one little blank bit, and it's annoying me.

So far, 'Lady of the Seas' has reached 22k. I don't think is too bad. Again, just like my last one, 'Kiss of the Gypsy', I've given myself a deadline to get it finished, which is the end of the year. I can see that happening, even before time - if I can build this bridge. Even if it's just a temporary structure to help my characters across, and then I can come back to it at a later date and strengthen it.

Many people, if they stumble across a problem like this, will ignore this section and go on to the next, to keep writing, and then come back to it later. If that works for them then great. But it doesn't for me. I feel I'll loose the flow of the story, and it will also be on the back of my mind that I need to go back and write that section. This will affect any future work that I churn out. I'm a planner. I need to know where I'm going and how to get from point A to point B. And understanding how these points are connected, how they entwine with each other and how they feed off each other, strengthens the route. Every bridge has to be in place, no matter how rough and unsteady.

This missing bridge is the cause for my writer's block.

What about you? Do flaws in your planning create havoc for your writing, or are you happy to go with the flow and see where your words and characters take you?


  1. I call that writer's barrier. YOu know where the character/story is suppose to go but arn't sure just how to get it there. I think this is the reason I plot out everything, so I can backtrack and see where I went off the path and into the wild.

  2. You should know Martin, you told me earlier that you had been planning your present novel.

  3. I haven't planned the novel I've been working on for the last three years and I haven't written it from beginning to end. But there have been plenty of points when I've realised I need to get characters from one event to another and work out why they would do that. Sometimes I do character sketches, sometimes I look at motivation, sometimes I change something else earlier or later in order to make the transition more natural.

    But mostly I just go through my day not really concentrating at work while I think about the solution to the problem.

  4. Well, I sat down with a friend the other night, had a MAJOR brainstorming session, and now a bridge has been built. Albeit unsteady, but it's bridged that gap; the writer's barrier has been broken - for both me and my friend. You can't beat a good writer friend.

    And the good thing about planning is it makes writing that dreaded synopsis that little bit easier.