The Romance Review

The Romance Reviews

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breaking through Writer's Block

Hello Gang!

This is going to be short and sweet.

We all experience it and bang our heads against the computer screen when we see a blank "page".

What happened?

You started out fast, writing at least two chapters a day! The story was poppin', the characters were talking to you, the plot was amazing. Then BAM! You can't write a damn word now. You wonder if you can get the passion back into your story. You wonder if the characters will come back to you and say sweet nothings in your ear again.

You even begin to have doubts about being a writer!

What do you do?

First, don't panic.

This happens to every writer, even Stephen King (we hope, LOL). I can't give you answers as to why this happens. It happens to me all the time, in fact just recently. But, hey, I'm back in the saddle again!

So since we don't know why this phenomenon happens, let's just deal with the solutions.

1. Put the story aside for a few days, weeks, even months. When the muse hits you again, take it out.

2. Read! Read a story that is in the genre you're writing. OR, if you prefer, read something totally different. I'm a history buff, I love non-fiction. I just finished reading a book on the French Revolution!

3. Hang out with friends and family. Do something fun. I love to hang with my girlfriends and go shopping. Love the cosmetic counters and shoes!

4. Watch television. This doesn't have to be intellectual stuff, a reality show would even do. There's A LOT of material there!

5. Spends some "Me Time". Nothing better than doing absolutely NOTHING! Go to a spa and get pampered. Go to a park and people watch.

6. Hang out at other writer's and readers groups. This can help put that spark back too. Bounce ideas off each other, you never know, you might break through that writer's block AND start a new story!

So you see, there is no need to push the panic button. there are plenty of things you can do to ease your mind or help you along.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Submitting new stories---the waiting!

It's always exciting getting new story ideas and fleshing them out. To get a spark of a story and see it grow into this full manuscript, with true to life (or over the top) characters is a thrill.

The pain comes in when you go back to edit. Sometimes you get the help of a crit partner. If she/he is good and you can take constructive criticism it could be relatively painless. You might go through two to four rounds of editing and re-writing, but the end result is a tight well written, clean manuscript. At least clean enough that when you submit it to that publisher, the editing department doesn't go crazy, or they flat out reject you because they can't see past all the typos and other technical stuff.

After you got all that done, the real pain come is. Submitting your work and waiting. And waiting...and waiting.

This is what I am going through now.

I just finished a piece of work that a fellow writer helped with editing. I went through several rounds, but my story is tight and flows great.

So after the horrid writing of the synopsis (will talk about that in another post), doing a chapter outline and cover letter, I submitted my baby.

The publisher was great in getting back to me asap and letting me know they have it and they will get back with me soon.

Soon, is a relative word I'm finding out in this business. LOL!

Is that a weeks, a few days, a couple of months? Who knows.

But there are a few good things about the wait (yes, there is a silver lining). It allows me to work on more stories until I hear back from them, and that is one story I completed and submitted and not collecting virtual dust on my hard drive