Frozen in Writing

It is time for my mid-process check in. As part of my plan to write 12 short stories this year, I am also going to write posts about my road blocks while writing.

Ironically the main character / narrator of my story this month is facing a similar problem to one I am going through in real life. Before I get into that, here is a reminder what this month’s prompt is:

At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we’d struck it rich and that we’d be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we’d spend the money. Our first choice was …​

I have been working on my story. I have some characters, I have a basic plot, and I even have an idea where I would like the story to go. However, my main character seems paralyzed. I cannot figure out how to get the story going again. I am not sure if this is that I am too determined to make the story happen a certain way and am not letting the story take on a life of its own, or because I feel that way right now in my own life.

My husband and I are waiting to find out if he is going to lose his job this year. It would be a HUGE life changing event for us. It’s all I can think about. We know roughly when we will find out and knowing that date has made it even harder for me. I feel like I am frozen in place waiting for someone to say “unfreeze.” I don’t want to do anything right now. I just want to know one way or another. 

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I feel like my character is stuck too. She can’t act because she is too afraid to. Any choice she makes could lead to things going horribly wrong. Maybe I should just let it go wrong for her and see where that takes me. Or maybe her fear prevents her from acting and the story is just what’s going on in her head.

Can nothing happening be a story?

I am curious what others think about that. What type of story do you prefer to write? Should event A lead to event B which in turn leads to events C-Z? Or do you like stories where there is more insight into the thoughts of the narrator(s)? Do you want your narrator to be thinking for you or do you want to watch everything play out and think about it for yourself?

And how do you handle the emotions of your characters? Do you tell the reader what the character is feeling, i.e. Bartleby is sad. Or do you prefer to show them through the events of the story and let them form the emotions for themselves?

Or do you just prefer to write and not overthink it? (Which is the other problem I am having in real life and while writing right now).

However you go about writing, keep it up!

Happy writing and reading this month! 

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What have I been doing?

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It has been a long time since I have written about my novel progress. And you may be wondering, what have I been up to? I am wondering the same thing myself.

After the last time I worked on my draft, which I admit was sometime in September, I took a break to do some research. I actually hit a rather large block when I was writing because I didn’t know how to explain, even in a fictional setting, what my main character was trying to do. Specifically, my main character needs to create a biological weapon that uses genetics to attack a specific group of people.

I have a fairly good understanding of genetics but not enough to explain why she finds engineering this weapon so challenging. I stopped drafting and did a little research about genetic engineering and biological weapons. I don’t think I understood 100% of what I read, but I get the basic concepts and now I understand why the fictional idea I came up with is actually quite impossible in our current time.

But then again, who cares! It’s fiction!

Since then I have been brainstorming but not drafting. I need to get back to work because I am very behind my deadline! My plan is to work hard over the next several weeks to get back on track in order to finish on time. But, this year is quickly coming to a finish. Wish me luck and happy writing to you all!

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