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You know what it’s like when you get an idea for a story and you’re really excited to write it down and bask in the wonder of your genius, but once you start writing you suddenly get stuck and the words don’t sound like they should and the idea’s not really coming across and it isn’t the way you thought it would be and you're having trouble making that line sound good and you're not even halfway through but it's all crumbling in front of you and you don’t know what to do to make it right?

*takes a deep, calming breath*

Normally once I’ve reached this point I would put that particular story aside and work on something else, but the problem is that I don’t want to work on something else. Like a petulant child: I wanna to write this specific story and I want it to be good!

So what’s a writer to do? Suck it up and admit defeat? Stand strong before quietly slinking away? Try to convince my brain to fixate on something else?

OR… Do I try to wrestle the darn thing into submission?

It's worth a try.


So for every move this story throws at me, I’m going to counter it and strike back. No matter how many Figure-Four Leglocks or Sharpshooters or Sleeper Holds come at me, I’ll be ready!

First, I’ll consider if the narrator needs to be changed, or if the third-person limited perspective is the thing that’s not working. Then I’ll think about how I’m telling the story and see if I need to shake it up and be even more non-linear (or more linear). Or maybe I need to focus on different events or circumstances. After that, I’ll try some free writing, just jotting down anything and everything that comes into my head, even if it doesn’t make sense, to see if there's a clue hidden within.

Instead of forcing the story in a direction that's not working, I’ll adapt, change pace, and see if I can’t finally Full Nelson the darn thing into a workable first draft.

...And if that doesn't work, I'll have to find some new moves.

Any suggestions?

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