Ah writer’s block… I used to swear that I never got it and that used to be true. As long as I could get some words on the page I was good. However, that was before I took on such an enormous creative writing project. I’ve done my fair share of academic writing without much trouble and my dips into creative writing have never been on this scope before. Well, needless to say writer’s block and I have been introduced.
Let me take a moment to explain what I really mean by writer’s block. I’m not that girl that stares at the screen and has no idea what to write. I know where my story is going and how to get there (often when I’m writing my story takes an unanticipated turn). When I get writer’s block, I’m the girl who sits staring at the computer writing and deleting writing and deleting. What I’m struggling with is my character’s relationships. This brings me back to a previous entry when I talked about my “perfect” characters “Why are you so Perfect? Oh Right I Created You”.
My main character, Lizabeth, is very much me and for some reason I am just enamored with Gabriel. That would be fine except for the fact that Lizabeth is in a love triangle with another boy Christian. I am able to write scenes between Lizabeth and Gabriel with ease. The dialogue flows effortlessly. Scenes with Christian however, are like pulling teeth. I go over and over what should be an easy scene setting up their new, blossoming relationship. How often do you get to know someone for the first time? There should be plenty for them to talk about, right? Ug! Christian is my writer’s block.
For the last couple of months I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make writing Christian’s scenes with Lizabeth easier with no avail until last night. I had this dream. You know the kind…the how would my life have been different if I chose this instead of that. Drawing on previous relationships, in my dream, I did something that I would never do in real life. (Oh look…another theme “stepping outside of my comfort zone”) I think the word fantasy is a little too strong of a word, but we’ll run with it for now.
This dream helped me figure out that I am comfortable with Gabriel’s character. Gabriel’s relationship with Lizabeth represents the part of me that is grounded and “inside the box”. So where does that leave Christian’s relationship? Christian’s relationship with Lizabeth represents something unfamiliar and exciting….something (like in my dream) I would never really do in real life. Writing scenes with Gabriel are easy, because he is the choice I made. Christian’s character is uncharted territory for me, the choice I didn’t make.
Having that new understanding of what these characters represent in my book, even just for me at the subconscious level, has broken through my writer’s block with Lizabeth’s scenes with Christian. Well, at least for now. J When I am writing scenes for Christian I look at them as an adventure, an exploration into the unknown. I now look forward to writing them because now I can explore their relationship and her choice, unlike mine, is trending to the unfamiliar. It’s kind of fun to watch through her eyes as she makes a choice I never did. I enjoy writing her putting herself out there with Christian and trying to ignore her fear of being rejected. It’s all a journey….a wild one!