Help help helpPosted by Karen Vickers on 27 August 2023 at 06:51
I started writing my novel back in 2010. Throughout the past 13 years, I have had many blank moments, loss of inspiration and self doubt and taken many breaks, as well as raising 2 children on my own.
The first half of my novel has basically written itself, with the flow quick and easy, I knew what i wanted to type, but then I got stuck with the middle. Although I know what I want to happen in this section, I can’t seem to find the right words and chapters.
Well, over the past few weeks, inspiration came in regards to the ending of the story, which I can happily say, I have just finished writing (like 5 minutes ago YAY)
My question to you guys is, how do I find the inspiration, to write the middle bit. I seem to just keep over thinking it and it’s driving me nut. I want to finish this book.
Member27 August 2023 at 07:48
Hi, Have you read ‘Save the cat writes a Novel?” Perhaps using something structured like the beat sheets would help. I listened as an Audiobook ( which has a PDF for help) and then got a copy too because I found it great for helping me structure things. Tell me what you think if you try it! patti
Member28 August 2023 at 06:41
Thank you for your comment. No i have not read that story. I will have to try get a hold of it.
Member27 August 2023 at 09:06
There are a load of video resources here on JW i’d really recommend you take a look at. A great place to start is the How To Write video course, specifically the three videos on plotting.
Also, there are a couple of really great masterclasses. One of them is about the ‘once upon a time’ plotting structure which is really good and the other is called something like How to Plot for People Who Hate Plotting (or something lile that).
As someone who started off not really plotting at all and finding herself stuck, I have found these tools a great way of getting through issues of “but I don’t know what I need to write here”.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Member28 August 2023 at 06:46
Thank you for your comment.
Annoying thing is, I know the full plot, and have the whole story in my head, I was just struggling with how to convey this bit I’m stuck on, from the vision in my head, to words on the page. I had hit another wall.
Seems I might be okay now, I’ve just written about 12 pages today, but will take all advise tidbits from everyone, because I hope that after this novel, I’ll write many more.
Member27 August 2023 at 09:28
Agree with both of the posters here, but also there was a piece (masterclass?) on Jericho recently about the synopsis, and how to flesh out a synopsis into chapters, then scenes, etc. This also makes me think about the snowflake method – worth looking up.
But, that’s all about the technical stuff, and you said you were looking for inspiration. That sounds to me like you’ve got a good concept, and you need to flesh it out. There’s a ghost of an idea in the back of your mind, and you’ve got to make it real? If that’s the case, you are a *little* on your own – because only you can be you – but think about related concepts; think about major and minor themes; think about small symbols that add up to a big pattern.
Think about (and listen to) the music of the period, or if you’re in the future, imagine the music of the period, and let it sink in. In the unlikely event that music isn’t your thing, try art. Mix them up, and see what falls out. I hate to be a bad influence (he said, disingenuously), but if you have a nice bottle of red wine gathering dust in the kitchen, now might be the time.
Hope this helps, and good luck. 😀
Member28 August 2023 at 06:53
Thank you for your advice.
I have not heard of the Snowflake method and will defiantly look into it.
Unfortunately, I am not a wine drinker, but I am a chocoholic and sweet lover, and with the assistance of both these vices, I have written about 12 pages today, and still going.
But I will take into advice anything people offer me. You can never stop learning, and hopeful, when I write my next novel, I will have a bit more experience and knowledge on how to set the story line first.
Although I have the full story in my head, I was struggling with how to write this ‘stuck’ section and put the vision into words. Hopefully my current writes streak will keep going.
Member27 August 2023 at 11:04
Hi Karen – I think the fact that you know and drafted the ending has set you on that course for success. Not sure if my personal experience is any useful but I’ll tell you anyway 😄 I was in the same space two years ago. A novel I started 10 years ago (also single mum at that point) was stuck in the middle until the ending came to me two years ago, and I realised how the characters fit together (main characters were suddenly all related and part of a pharmaceutical dynasty). I went back and wrote it from that perspective, focussing on how the characters’ background and motivation were related to the plot (ending included). The first draft was very rough in terms of plot and language, keeping it ugly for the sake of the story. When working through several versions I found the material on here useful, including the synopsis builder and snowflake method along with writing exercises. Perhaps it would have been better to have a clearer structure first, but I found the character-driven ‘pantsing’ much more inspiring and fun. Many authors also put extracts from their WIP up for feedback, which can be focussed on readers’ expectations and can be inspiring (although some feedback needs ignoring) – not something I’ve done though.
Anyway, just a few additional thoughts. Main thing is to keep going, you got this! And if you need a critique partner or beta reader happy to help. 🙂
Member28 August 2023 at 06:56
Thank you for your advice.
Amazingly enough, I woke up this morning and inspiration broke through the barrier and I have written about 12 pages.. and still going. Being a first time writer, I think I let the doubts of what I’m doing, sometimes get the better of me, and I hit walls, thinking I’m wasting my time.
I will let my inspiration keep going today.. when on a roll.. go with it.
Member28 August 2023 at 08:22
Great! That does sound totally normal – the doubts are a ‘first time writer’ thing but not your writing journey. 👍