So I finally sat down and started thinking about where my novel is going. Because I’ve been trudging through this section I’m on for DAYS and it’s been a struggle. Honestly, it’s the reason my word count hasn’t changed in days – because I DON’T WANT TO WRITE THIS SCENE.
So there are two recommendations if this becomes you.
First, you can SKIP IT! Move past it! Write the next scene that you actually want to write! Why should we spend hours and days and weeks struggling through a scene we hate? We can just add that scene later, when perhaps we can see exactly what point we need to get to. Plus, one could argue that trudging through a scene/chapter will just make for more crap we have to revise later when we’re done. It’d almost probably be easier to just add in the scene later than to revise the one you already wrote (plus, what will you have to change later in the story that you changed in your revision?).
Struggling through a scene means we’re not enjoying what we’re writing. And if we’re not enjoying it, how can we expect our readers to enjoy that scene as well?
The other option is to just keep trudging through it, knowing that once you get past it, you’ll be able to move on to a scene you DO want to write. Obviously, this may be a more time consuming option (which sucks when you’re on a deadline), however, you never know what kind of breakthrough you can hit in the middle of that scene. It may be easier to just tweak the existing scene than to have to worry about writing it completely.
Skipping a scene may seem like the easier option of the two, but honestly if I skip it now, I don’t think I’ll want to write it later, either.
Normally, I’d give a third option which involves your alcoholic drink of choice, however I’m visiting my in-laws for the holiday this year, and wine is not an option I have to push myself through this scene.
In the case of this scene, I’m going with option 2. I’m going to trudge through it. I took a break, did a little bit of plotting for the remainder of the story, and now I feel some kind of excitement again. That may all go away when I open my novel in just a few minutes, but finishing a scene that I struggled through is honestly a great feeling.
What’ll make me laugh: My future December post titled “How to Cope When a Scene You Took a Week to Write Gets Cut From Your Final Draft.” Haaaaaa.
Which route do you take when you’re struggling?