At nearly fifteen thousand words in, and at the cusp of the first big turning point for my story, I lost my will to move forward.
Often when I am writing I struggle not to rush right into the first big revelation or turning point, where things start to unfold, make sense, and get juicy. I can feel myself breathing into the turns, gripping the wheel (er, pen…ok, keyboard) to maintain a smooth transition from introduction of key characters to revealing the belly of the story.
I could not wait to get from “this is Sue” to “see Sue run”. I even gave myself permission to cut some of the background stuff out, figuring I could add it later in dialogue, etc. But dammit if I didn’t start bringing in the good stuff and find myself hating the content!
I’ve experienced writer’s block before, but this was more along the lines of a lack of interest in my main character. I was writing too many words without feeling and it was crippling my normal urges to keep going. This bummed me out because I had been waiting for several months to even begin this story…
So here is what I’ve done, and it has been like a new fire in my spirit: I changed the p.o.v. of my story. From conception, I was determined the story needed to be told in 3rd person. I hadn’t been able to imagine it in any other way. But this morning I saved a copy of my original story then did a “find & replace” of all the times I used the MC’s name and replaced it with “I”. And so, first person it is!
I now have the task of changing all the pronouns to match my new first person modification, but while doing so I am hearing the story in a completely new light. And since I like to do revisions every ten pages or so, it gives me the chance to make them with a fresh pair of eyes.
I now feel more in tune with my MC. I’m also not worrying about head hopping, as I am tempted to do when I write in 3rd person.
I hope this provides a tip for you to try the next time you find yourself suddenly without interest in your main character. Since this particular story entails yucky things, I will enjoy the challenge of working through them as I write from “I” and not “she”. I don’t know about you but it’s played tricks on me in the past when I find it difficult to make my characters do things I wouldn’t personally do.
What do you do to fall in love with your characters again?
**Featured image photo credit to Bongkarn Thanyakij**