My 10 Steps for Getting Through that Very Important Scene that is Just. Not. Happening.

otherwise known as “only the latest scene in my work in progress that was a pain in the ass to write”

  1. Accept that I am a week behind schedule. That 1,389 a day word count I established for myself—let it go. For now.
  1. Take the time to write down how awful it all is. “Feel like this scene needs more” and “What the hell is her goal again?” and “Wow. I’m boring myself” work just fine.
  1. Remind myself to breathe. Repeat the mantra “some of my best scenes are the ones that were the hardest to write.”
  1. Say goodbye to dinner and hello to that bottle of wine.
  1. Keep a notebook nearby at all times. ALL TIMES. Too many bursts of inspiration happen not while I’m pretending to type on the keyboard. They happen when I’m driving to work, stepping into the shower, or trying to fall asleep for the night.
  1. Watch a movie with similarities in setup. I watched The Breakfast Club even though the movie itself is nothing like the erotic romance I’m working on. But it does center around a group of misfits getting to know each other, and that has many parallels to the particular scene I was struggling with, one in which the heroine and her love interest initially don’t get along but come to understand each other.
From super cool "Tarantino vs Kubrick" art exhibit.
Immersing myself in art: from super cool “Tarantino vs Kubrick” art exhibit.
  1. Immerse myself in the world I’m creating. My PITA scene takes place in an art museum. I realized I needed to get more information and inspiration on that. I read in the paper about a really cool Tarantino vs. Kubrick art exhibit opening downtown. Never mind how fatigued and depressed I was about my writer’s block. I psyched myself up went. It was amazing and did wonders to clear my mind and open up the creative windows. I also cut out a picture of the inside of an art museum from the arts listing in the local weekly, and kept that in front of me as I wrote.
Cutting out a photo of a place your scene is set in does wonders to help with the creative spark.
  1. Sit outside with my laptop and watch the hummingbirds fight. Entertaining as all get out. And a great reminder that conflict is the source of drama.
  1. It comes down to this eventually: write it. I have what I need now and I know it.
  1. The final and very important step – celebrate!
Wine and chocolate cake! Works for me.

Art exhibit credits, clockwise from bottom left: “Walter and Vincent” by Christian Michael Gallegos; “Reservoir Dogs” by Jeremy Montoya; “The ‘D’ is Silent” by Will Wells; “Drop It Sugaa” by Everett C. Kelley.

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