Finding the Unexpected Answer

For most writers there comes a time when we struggle with a scene or a character, slowing the pace of the writing. We must pause and take a step back. Evaluate where we are at and what it is we are trying to achieve. Are we in the right setting, have the correct characters in play, is the situation what it should be? Sometimes, when we free up our minds and let go of our preconceived notions regarding our own script we learn something new. We may find the answer (or hero) in the least of expected locations.

(Warning: This video contians violence – macho stye)

And sometimes, we find it’s time to let one go. But great sacrifice often makes for a great story. Have you found yourself in this position recently?


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32 thoughts on “Finding the Unexpected Answer”

  1. Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

    I love that video! Well, except for the end. Poor Mr. Meowmers. 🙁

    As to your question…yes. And usually with every story I write there are going to be places where I have to step back and evaluate what’s going on and why I can’t make any progress. Sometimes it’s because I didn’t spend enough time getting to know my characters. Other times (early on), I didn’t think much beyond ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘The End.’ Need just a little more than the beginning and end to write a book. And every now and again I just need to write to the end. Whether it’s good or not, I just need to get it finished so I can start editing…and then things usually work out.

    Fortunately I’ve never had to eliminate a character. Unless I hate them and someone who wasn’t scheduled to die in my WIP did wind up dead because I just couldn’t stand her. 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I agree, just write to the end can be helpful sometimes. Then you can step back and see what needs to be fixed. I have been jamming through these word sprints, but can see more fixes needed in these areas as a result. More edits required. sigh.

  2. Krystal WadeKrystal Wade

    Of course! So I told mi inner voice to shut up and today I plan to write write write!

  3. mgmillerbooksmgmillerbooks

    lol. Love it! I think we all reach that point at one time or another. Once, I couldn’t move forward for a month because of a single sentence, and there have been few times I’ve had to create a composite character out of a couple extraneous ones. Also, someone once asked me, “Did you have to kill everybody?” Ha.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      LOL No, I didn’t have to kill everyone – yet. That would be depressing now, wouldn’t it?

  4. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    did not like the video…yikes, it’s too early for that kind of noise. LOL poor Mr Meowmers. as for stories – I’ve hit that point in my novella. i don’t want to write it which means that something’s wrong and I need to back track. so much for my weekend fun – it’s back to the drawing board. have a great weekend.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Sorry to hear that Louise, and sorry the video bothered you.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      😀 Still love you! I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor as well. That’s why I don’t usually try to be funny on my blog. I think people would take it wrong and get offended. :-/

  5. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Crazy funny video!! 🙂

  6. Emma BurcartEmma Burcart

    I wish I had a cat that would take care of my business like that. But I wouldn’t be willing to feed it or let it into my house, that probably wouldn’t work. I do need the reminder to just let go! Thanks for that.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I had a cat once that could probably do this. He stopped coming in the house and kept his distance from us. He got weird. I found out one of the neighbors was taking shots at him with a BB gun. Grrr I was so mad! He had been a good cat before that.

  7. BenBen

    Good post. I find that when I reach an impasse, the important thing is not to force it, because you can’t force the muse. This is why I find it helpful to have multiple projects running simultaneously, because if I’m stuck on one, I can work on the others. Of course, this necessitates some serious gear-shifting as I switch from a hard SF/action novella to a psychological horror story, but that in itself is good to keep your writing fresh as well.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I agree, your best work comes when you don’t force it. That’s great that you have several works going at once. With the kids I don’t have enough time in the day to dedicate to more than the one. I’d never finish! At this time, I make notes on the others and hope I will be able to get to them sooner rather than later.

  8. Karen A EinselKaren A Einsel

    In this position lately? Yes! In fact so far the whole second book of my series. As for letting someone go, I had to do that in the first book and cried the whole time while writing that scene 🙁

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Writing a death scene is never easy – if it’s a good one. If you are emotionally invested, if you’ve done it right and gotten the reader emotional invested it will all be worth it. Tough though.

  9. Jennette Marie PowellJennette Marie Powell

    This happens to me regularly. If it’s a first draft, I just skip over it and keep writing, unless it’s simething that’s keeping me from writing at all. Either way, it bites in revision, which is one reason my revisions take so long.

    Walking away for a while is also a time-honored way to figure out a solution to a programming problem!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I had to do that in my first book. Practically skipped an entire chapter. came back to it later when everything snapped into place. If finally felt right and everything flowed. Things have been feeling off lately so I’m trying to listen to my gut and figure out what it is that I should be doing.

  10. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    Nooooo! Not the kitteh. How sad for Mr. Meowsers.

    Yep, I’ve been there with my story ~ was just there yesterday in fact. I rewrote the scene in another character’s POV and bam! it was working again. Sometimes taking a step back and seeing it from a new perspective gives the whole story new life. Sometimes taking a nap works, too.

  11. Sheila SeabrookSheila Seabrook

    Oh no, not the cat! 🙁

    I’m looking at cutting half of my opening chapter and this is exactly what it feels like. I know I have to kill my darlings but if I don’t, I may have a dead manuscript instead.

    Thanks Debra!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I did that to my second chapter. Cut it out completely. I felt fine about it actually. Moved important pieces into new scenes, but my husband was sick about it. He really liked the way I set everything up. He asked me not to have him test read till I was done with all the changes. LOL But I LOVE his feedback. He knows his stuff! I just needed the story to kick off a little faster.

  12. Serena Dracis, AuthorSerena Dracis, Author

    I had a character completely reverse my original intentions for her. At first I was going to kill her off, or send her away in disgrace. Now she’s going to feature in all three books of the trilogy! I didn’t plan it…she reared up and took control!

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I had a character do this. But he made his intentions known very early on. He really surprised me, and now I can’t help but love him. I would be sick if I had to kill him off. But you never know. :-/ If it made for a better story at some point.

  13. Karen McFarlandKaren McFarland

    Fortunately I haven’t had that happen to me yet. But then I haven’t written anything on my WIPs in months. The class, life has gotten in the way. I keep telling myself to just start writing and then something needs my attention. I am hoping to break that cycle this weekend with Hubby settled in. Notice, I said hoping. 🙂

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      Now you are sounding like me, only a couple of weeks ago. You need to find some time, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day. I pushed it to the top of my list with Row80 and decided to commit. I feel better moving forward, even if my word sprint work will clearly need more rework than my usual work. At least I’m writing.

  14. Angela Orlowski-PeartAngela Orlowski-Peart

    My kitty is sitting here with me and he probably is thinking, “what the heck?”. He looks very similar to the one in the video, sigh.

    Anyway, for us, writers, there are all kinds of inspiration, even those from the kitty-killing videos, sadly said. It’s true. I get attached to some of my characters, while I don’t have any problem getting rid of others. It’s a personal thing. Just like writing.

    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I feel the same way Angela – about all of it. And I’m sorry if the video disturbed your kitty. Sweet little thing. Loved the pictures, btw.

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