I used to say that I don’t believe in writers block, that if I just starting writing, that the writing would come. My initial writing can be, as one of my former writers group members said, just “warming up.” Dialog comes easily to me so that is how chapters often begin, with a character’s voice, and then I discover, by writing, what comes next. Plot can develop out of dialog.
Recently I felt stymied, stuck, not knowing what to write next, and a lot of this feeling came from not wanting to write what I felt I must.
For a long time, I’ve had in mind what would happen a certain way, resulting in a major turning point. But the closer I came to that section, the more reluctant I was to write it. When I anticipate plot, in the actual writing it may come out differently than I had planned. In this instance, I realized that for the good of the plot that one of my point of view characters, instead of being a victim, would do something unethical. But I didn’t want her to. The challenge would be to have her do it, then not lose the sympathy of the reader. My reluctance kept me from writing until I forced myself to sit down and write it. Then what happens next? Another point of stuckness, styminess (ok, I’m making up words now). Would it happen the way I had it planned or another way? I tried writing it both ways then settled on one. So I worked my way through it, proving once again, that I just need to write. Nothing is set in stone and if it doesn’t work, try another way.