A friend and I recently discussed the ability to keep on writing when the story lacks a certain quality. We’re talking passion, crunch, or shivers of excitement. Can you keep moving forward when you fall out of love with your story, or when it’s a story not of the heart? Maybe you were contracted to write a story, or a series, decided to follow a market trend, tried a different genre, or you realized halfway through that the story no longer thrills you. So you have 40K words already. Do you ditch it? Do you push through and hope for the best?
I’m almost certain that every book I’ve written came to me as a simple idea that caused a tiny shiver of excitement. From that initial idea, weeks were spent taking it in many directions before a clear story path evolved. But always that initial idea stayed forefront in my mind.
Like many writers, I will be somewhere in the middle of writing a new story when glimmers of another one start showing up. I write those thoughts down, file them, and get back to the current story. I try not to let too much of the new story idea seep in. That physical act of writing the thoughts down is often enough to quiet the new shiny thing that looks glamorous as I’m wading through the muck of the middle of the work in progress.
But what do you do when the ideas no longer appeal, or the idea well dries up? What if you realize that you are nearing the completion of your current story and there have been no glimmers of the next one? What if no saucy temptress has been flashing her cheeky grin and no hero has been giving you that sexy wink?
Go have some fun. Talk funny, have an adventure, take a different road, walk at the ocean’s edge, or sit in a crowd and observe human nature.
I’m betting you’ll return with more story ideas than you can find time to write. Choose the one that causes the shiver…you’ll never go wrong.