Saturday, July 16, 2005


I'm stuck on chapter eight.

Got a critique back and man, she offers very valid questions...just ones I didn't want to hear! LOL Now I'm torn...YES, I've been nice to my characters! And I know I'm supposed to make them suffer....but I did it because I'm totally setting them up for disaster in the next. Now I am not sure which road to I've been avoiding the WIP like the plague.

Any and all comments welcome. I didn't just set up this blog for MY thoughts - I love it when discussions spark up! Have you had a similar problem? What did YOU do?


  1. Hey Donna!

    This happens to me all the time. Stuck! What do I do? Well, usually I take a break and read something in the same genre I'm writing. This fires my brain juices, and also gives time for thoughts on my own work to coalesce in my head.

    Critiques are a mixed blessing. They're wonderful for pointing out plot holes and weak characters and setting, but they can also cause unncessary angst. I'm very lucky in that my two critique partners are fabulous, so I trust their instincts. But I have received critiques in the past that I've thought over and decided No, I don't agree. My gut's telling me otherwise. I go with my gut now...when I don't, the outcome is poor. So, bottom line, if it's someone whose skills you trust, listen to them, wait a bit, go back to it and fix it. Heck, open up a new Word doc and just begin typing away at a new story. It can be total dross, but it will get your mind in a more fertile state. Around chap 8, sometimes the inspiration need to give it time and fuel to re-fire.

    Hope this helps, and good luck! Don't WILL all fall into place. Just be patient with yourself and the inner process.


  2. I agree with Bosey. You have to go with your gut. If it doesn't feel right to you, it won't come across right in your writing either. Just keep remembering the feeling, that high you get when it DOES all fall into place...and it will.

    Good luck!


  3. I agree with Bosey too! Even the best critique partners don't always have the same feel for your story that you do.

    Would the suggestions mean major changes to your story from that point forward? Or is it something you can write your way past for now, then go back and fix later if you change your mind? (Something tells me that scenario would just be TOO easy...!)

  4. Donna, I can relate to having "too nice" characters - my first novel suffers from that, not to mention a flaw in the plot which forced me to drop it for awhile and practice on something else.

    While practicing on my current WIP, I have discovered the royal fun of torturing my characters. Golly, it's worth it! And once the characters have "black spots" here and there to pick on, they come alive of their own accord. Seriously, it's been a pure gas to write them!

    Now, not knowing your story, I have no idea really what to advise, of course. These are just food-for-thought words, basically. :) And it might partly depend upon where you are in the book - have they been "nice" for 8 out of 12 chapters, or only for 3? I'd be more tempted to go back and smudge them up a bit if they've been nice for too long. ;)

    Best of luck! Do try the torture sometime, it's too fun to miss. :D

  5. Sierra- it actually could be that easy. They aren't major plot points....more about just ratcheting up the tension within the chapter.

    Webbymom,welcome to my blog! I love torture! I *think* I've only been too nice to them in this particular chapter, so it's a matter of tweaking. It's deciding when and where to tweak, unsettle my characters that's tough.