Roadblocks to storytelling.

I think every storyteller and writer alive has had to figure out their process to create and how to overcome the roadblocks/obstacles along the way.

I struggle with knowing what I want to write and writing it. Do you know that one?

There are times when I am starting and even sometimes when I’m in the middle of writing a scene that my fingers freeze. Do you know that sensation?

It’s like I know what’s supposed to happen thanks to my handy-dandy roadmap but there is a disconnect.

I have theories of why. I don’t often think in words. It’s more pictures and images and bolts out of the blue that want to defy logical connection. And writing a scene is full of connections.

“Write hot, edit cold. ”

Yes, yes. That is my first mantra. And you know, sometimes it works. I get into the flow AND it’s glorious! The muse is whispering in my ears, the birds are singing, the sunlight dances in rainbow colors around my head, and the world waits with bated breath.

And sometimes it’s a struggle.

“Doesn’t have to be perfect. ”

That would be mantra number two.

The thing is I don’t want to put a lot of garbage on the page. I think that’s part of the problem. So my get-around that is to write short sentences consisting of who’s there, what they’re around, what’s going on with notes of who’s feeling what. It’s a cheat sheet to allow me to slip into each character’s skin.

This works for me quite a bit but the problem is overload. There’s so much that my head feels like it’s going to implode. How can I get this huge monstrosity on page without having ever scene be a book in itself.

“Break it into bite-size… Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Yes folks, this is mantra number three. I say this rather often. Writing a complete book is a large undertaking. It’s a huge commitment and it’s not for the weak hearted.

Mantra number three usually gets me to breathe again and then I can Center.

Okay so I know all what is going on in this one moment of time and the influences leading up to it. And for goodness sakes what are the villains currently doing -even if it’s behind the scenes. This is for my head only as the deity of this make-believe world.

Sometimes this means I draw a storyboard… Or I play act like we all did as small children (though it’s helpful if there are no bystanders to watch this process).

“Writers are crazy.”

Yeah. This one doesn’t have a number. I just say it often.

Alright so I know what’s happening in the scene and I now know all the motivation leading and threading through it.


Mantra number four is a lot of acronyms. Who’s head am I in? What do “i” want more than anything else right now. How do I react to the obstacles keeping me from what I want most? Etc. etc. If anyone doesn’t know the acronyms – and once upon a time I didn’t – send me a comment. I would be more than happy to explain.

Usually by now the scene is starting to flesh out pretty well. And I have little nuggets of personality – thoughts, “isms”, etc. that show up as I write.

(What do I do with that?)

Well – If it relates to the scene I’m working on, I go back to where I think it should be added and add it.

If it doesn’t belong in that scene I add it to “comments” In Word and then copy and paste into my document called “book spine” or under “characters” for when I do my next revision which will be primarily editing.

So this is my process currently. I ended up needing to gut a lot of what I wrote in my first draft but I learned a lot from the process and I have a more solid story now. Just need to get it done.

I’ll talk later about ways to overcome real life interrupting writing time.


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