Many of you know that I am working on my first novel. I love everything about it. Creating a new world with new people and personalities, among other things, is one of my favorite things to do in life. I was chugging along at quite a pace until I hit chapter 4. Seriously, this chapter stopped me in my tracks. I would stare at the screen on my computer and try to make my fingers move, but nothing (of any worth anyway) would come out. I decided to plug away at it anyway, fully knowing that I did not like what was happening and coming out of my brain, onto the paper… Once the chapter was “finished”, I read it and reread it and with each reading-it did not grow on me. I actually hated it a little more with each reading. So, I did what any great writer would do. I abandoned it. I walked away-from my beautiful and lovely world, from my amazing characters, from the gripping and fantastic story line (if you skip chapter 4), from the voices in my head. Yes, writers are a bit crazy with those voices in our heads. 🙂
Then, Thanksgiving and Christmas hit. My life became unbelievably crazy! November and December as a music teacher are absolutely something you would not believe. But, through it all, the voices of my characters became louder-the world became clearer-and chapter 4 sharpened up in a way I didn’t expect. My fingers were itching to be back at the keys typing away. And yet, I had no time. I couldn’t afford to stay up all night and get it all on the page because I had 225 students expecting me to be at the top of my game, just as I always expect them to be at the top of their’s. So my precious characters, and their voices screaming in my head, had to wait.
And now those holidays are over…my life has slowed down to a semi-normal rate (which honestly is NOT normal for anyone, but is how I like it), and I am going to try to silence my character’s voices this weekend. They are now shouting at me in a volume that you would still be able to hear over a freight train! So chapter 4 is going to finally come together and make it on paper the way it should be. And my “Aaaagggghhhh, this chapter is so crappy and unbelievable” is about to turn into “Aaaagggghhhh, this chapter is so amazing and unbelievable!” Turns out walking away for a bit was one of the best decisions I could have made for this manuscript. I can’t wait to continue the story and finish it up. Now, I have to go write. My heroine has hit sounds levels you wouldn’t believe!
I’m wondering how other writers handle this kind of block when they are writing? Have you ever walked away from a manuscript and come back? What were your results?