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Posts tagged ‘writing resistance’

Are you stymied by a scene? Duck and cover

It happens to all of us.

You’re working on your manuscript and you get stuck. The writing feels clunky. Something isn’t working. This is when you must duck and cover.

“Duck and cover” is the term author Pam Lewis coined to describe her process of jumpstarting her writing when she’s become stuck.

“I open a blank page on my computer and ask myself, ‘What’s going on in the scene?’ I close my eyes and watch the characters and hear them.”

In her current manuscript, Lewis said she used the technique to figure out what a character was doing in a particular scene. But she realized the technique helped her see what mattered to the character and the character’s emotional state. With her eyes closed, Lewis saw that the character’s hands were trembling, she was sweaty, and didn’t smell good.

Duck and cover can be a way of accessing the sensory details of your scenes.

Lewis is the author of A Young Wife, Perfect Family, and Speak Softly, She Can Hear.

Watch the scenes of your novel as though they were a movie, Lewis says. Start by writing the action or what the character is thinking or feeling. Sometimes Lewis writes random dialogue to get the sentences flowing again. “It almost always offers something useful, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m writing about at the moment.”

“Even more important than what the characters say sometimes is what they do and their facial gestures,” Lewis says.

For more ideas to break through writing resistance, read Four tips to defeat your writing funk.

In writing, anything worth doing is worth doing badly

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” – G. K. Chesterton

I’ve never met a writer yet who doesn’t feel resistance to writing in one form or another.

Sometimes getting stuck is a sign you need to do more research or try freewriting your way to ideas. The antidote is to just push forward no matter how messy it may seem.

Resistance can take the form of procrastination, failure to write certain scenes that are “difficult,” and a fluttery feeling in your stomach that feels like fear but is a good sign that you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone. At that moment, your shadow self may be telling you all sorts of things to feed the fear.

“You’re too old.”

“You’re not creative enough.” Read more