Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why Should I Trust My Subconscious When It Won't Trust Me?

I’ve been staring at the current chapter of my WIP for weeks now, or more likely, ignoring it because it’s so blessedly bad that I don’t even want to bother figuring out what the issue is. I mean, I’m supposed to be in Adam’s POV. It’s HIS turn. He’s supposed to fail; Eve is supposed to empathize with him. Why isn’t it working, damnit? Why can’t I just vomit it out, get to the end, and revise all this crap later? That’s the goal!


So while I was doing my daily procrastination, reading the new Romance Writer Daily online newspaper, I saw this article: And it was a brilliant reminder of things I knew to be true, at least unconsciously. Only said better than me.


But the part that got to me was this line: “it leaves your subconscious writer telling your conscious writer that you made a mistake.” The reason it got me was because it says YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS WRITER. My subconscious is running the show here. Now, I’m not against the supernatural (not saying my subconscious is either super or natural, but you know what I’m talking about—the Woo-Woo stuff), but I rather resent the fact that my subconscious fully expects me to listen to him when he says, “You fucked up, dumbass. Figure it out and try again.” I’m supposed to trust this voice—and I admit it, I know I did something wrong—but the subconscious is not feeding me any information other than I’m wrong.


My subconscious fully expects me to trust him, but he doesn’t show me the same courtesy, and instead operates on a “need to know basis” where I apparently don’t need to know shit. Other than I’m wrong. Do you see why I’m so annoyed by this office procedure?


If my Director at work came in and said, “Hellie, I need you to fix the last thing you did. You know, clean it up.” And then gave no instruction about what he was actually looking for or the direction he actually wanted it to go or even specified the part he wanted me to fix, I would light him on fire. Oh, I’m not kidding. He’d be kicked out of my office so fast with his ears ringing, he wouldn’t return until he had specific instructions and an offer to buy my lunch for the rest of the week for the trouble he caused me.


Unfortunately I can’t do that with my subconscious: he just disappears, never apologizes for his vague and unhelpful remarks, and never ever buys me lunch. When I do figure out what the problem is he says things like, “That’ll do, pig.” That’s right. My subconscious sounds like James Cromwell.


How does anyone work like this? I know the saying about writing is like driving at night. The headlights only shine a few feet ahead of you, but you can make the whole journey that way. I mean, I know that, but it makes me insane. I want a little more information than that. If I have to trust my subconscious, then by God, I expect my subconscious to have a little trust in me and stop talking to me like some Buddha Yoda who wiggles his ears and says, “The bamboo stalks bends during monsoon season.” Come on!


There is a lot of trust involved in getting your book on the page, but the trust feels very one sided. I need to trust the process. I need to trust my subconscious. I need to trust my instinct. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. (Yes, my subconscious also sounds like Yul Brenner from the King & I.) I just want my subconscious to trust me a little and stop acting like sharing any information with me is breaking his pact with the CIA.


Does anyone stall out like this and realize you made a “mistake” and you fix it and move on? Is your subconscious more informative and trusting than mine? Do you have any tips for charming an untrusting subconscious? Anyone got any other Woo-Woo tips that help them write? (P.S. Bo’sun, if you tell me this is like the death conversation and I don’t need to know, I will mail you broccoli in revenge.)

P.S.S. I saw Crazy Stupid Love this weekend and it was BRILLIANT! Best rom-com I've watched in a long, long, long time. Hilarious and heartbreaking...and Ryan Gosling with his shirt off. Yummy. There were twists and turns I didn't see coming, hysterical.


2nd Chance said...

Hee, hee. So, all the WBs live in California? Or is that writers who claim to experience WB live in California. Right.

I don't get WB, I just stop writing now and then. Stress, disguised as massive lack of confidence. And the lack of a story idea that inspires me enough to believe I can write. (Found a new idea, btw, written over 16k in three days. Booyah!)

I think the point of the blog you're citing is that your subconscious doesn't talk to you. It just blocks you until you stumble back and figure out how you screwed up. This is like one of my elder animal guides, Coyote, who continues to dig holes in front of me to trip into until I figure out I should use a different route! No sign post, no telegram, no blinking freeway sign warning of a detour ahead... Just aching ankles, scabby knees and scraped hands until I quit going that way!

And the faint sound of laughter to the side. He loves a good pratt fall.

Sorry, Hellie. Wish it were woowoo easy.

And I saw Cowboys&Aliens this weekend and really nice! Great homage to westerns, Harrison was lovely, Daniel Craig was steely...and there was as dog named Dog. I'll look to get to your movie this week! ;-)

Quantum said...

Come on now Hellie. This just won't do!

Your subconscious is the biggest part of YOU. Its the source of your ideas. Its the origin of your flare. It determines who you are. It links you to the rest of humanity (If you believe Jung).

OK it can feel like an inner critic at times but that's good. Stops you making an ass of yourself and warns when things are going astray.

I say embrace your subconscious. Embrace your own brilliance. Listen carefully to any warnings. And yes, buy your subconscious lunch occasionally to show it you care.

Fascinating analysis Hellie. Worthy of Freud in his formative years!

Marnee said...

Ooohh.... Boy does my subconscious work like this!! I stall out in the center of the book. Every. Single. Time.

Most of the time I get going again by focusing on the end. I know what I want to happen and so I look at where I am and where I want to be and I try to connect the dots. And when I can't think about the end, I think about what I want to happen in that scene and I focus on the goal of the scene and not on the details.

It gets me to the end, but it doesn't keep me from feeling that "I'm wrong" feeling. It just ends the internal debate.

I admit; I stop sometimes. But I've figured out that there are reasons to stop and reasons not to. I try to figure out if the wrong comes from character or something else. If it's a character wrong, I stop. Always. Because character is ALL and if the character's off there's no reason for me to keep going. Then I go back to where the character was good and reread and see if I can return the character to when they made sense and try to coax them through the rest.

I'd like to say it's fail safe but it isn't. It's just how I do it. Sometimes it works, though.

Bosun said...

First off, this is nothing like the death conversation. Not even close. Though I do love that you inserted the "need to know" idea into a new situation.

I'm totally with Q. Turning your subconscious into the enemy means turning YOU into an enemy (though I might have said the words "She's her own worse enemy" in the past. Ahem.) Starting a war inside your head is just asking for trouble. Hell, I'm happy that my subconscious steps in before I get too far afield.

Though now that I'm mentally breaking down the first MS, I can see giant potholes that my subconscious could have MENTIONED SOONER. Like before I believed it was DONE.

I always go back to the storyboard. Stare at it. Move notes around. Create new ones, take out the unnecessary ones. I think if you listen closely enough, your subconscious will tell you exactly what you need to know. Not that you'd ever be stubborn and not want to listen. *whistles innocently*

Donna said...

Hellie, I sympathize, although I'm thrilled that someone else uses the "That'll do, pig" reference. LOL I always THINK it, but I'm afraid no one will understand it and then things can get messy!

Writing would be a lot easier if it were linear, and if it didn't require teamwork (i.e., the concious and subconscious working together). But in reality it's messy and sloppy and it's like all the chaos going on behind the scenes at a great restaurant -- you just have to focus on the masterpiece that emerges at the end, the one the customer oohs and ahhs oveer, not knowing all the trauma that produced it. :)

The thing that struck me from your post is the words "supposed to". Maybe if you tried those scenes from a different angle, writing them in a freeform, not-according-to-the-plan mode, you might break through your resistance. It's possible that isn't how the story IS supposed to go, even though you've decided that it should. :)

Hellion said...

Terry Pratchett doesn't seem to have a lot of patience for us Americans. *LOL* Especially of the Californian variety. I never really understood that. California did have more of the granola crunchy variety, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Just a variety that's more oat conscious. :)

This is like one of my elder animal guides, Coyote, who continues to dig holes in front of me to trip into until I figure out I should use a different route! No sign post, no telegram, no blinking freeway sign warning of a detour ahead…

I like this description. A lot more whimsical than my close-mouthed CIA Tommy Lee Jones variety. *LOL* And it's reassuring your subconscious--as Californian as you are--doesn't talk to you anymore than mine talks to me.

Deerhunter was talking about going to see Cowboys & Aliens. I told him you gave it your stamp of approval.

And last but not least: WOOHOO for new writing!! Glad you found a story idea to play with!

Hellion said...

Q, that's so modern of you that you'd expect me to buy my closed-mouthed subconscious lunch!! *LOL* I don't foot the bill unless we've been going out for a long long time, and being my subconscious seems to want to keep us on a professional level, I wouldn't do anything as forward as buying him lunch. :) *LOL*

But you probably have the right of it. Embracing is the key. The more balky I behave with my subconscious, the more balky he'll continue to be with me. One of us is going to have to make the first gesture at communication and it's clearly not going to be him.

The problem is that I'm so bad at it. Deerhunter is the communicator in our relationship. I act a lot like my subconscious. Oh, dear. *LOL*

Ah, I've missed you, Q, and I've missed blogging.

Janga said...

Hellie, it sounds to me as if your rational, conscious mind is fighting against your subconscious rather than using it. Maybe it's a control issue. LOL

Barbara Samuel talks about the importance of listening to the "girls in the basement," taking the material they give and allowing the conscious mind to shape it. They work together.

I know a lot of writers, including Anne Gracie, suggest writing before you get out of bed--in that not quite awake stage when the boundary between subconscious and conscious is thinnest. I admit I haven't had much luck with this since I can't even seem to hold a pencil when I first wake, much less write words, but it seems to work for a lot of writers. Some writers see collaging as a way of playing with images and allowing the subconscious to work.

Kelly Stone in Living Write talks about using the subconscious in the form of Daily Counselors to whom you pose questions and wait for answers that often come in images, symbols, or intuitions. I haven't tried that either, but I must say I like the idea of Nora Roberts as my plot counselor, George Clooney as my love scene counselor, etc. The idea of imaging the various counselors as anyone I choose seems like fun.

I think organic writers depend on their subconscious in ways they don't even acknowledge. Whatever you use, I think it takes a willingness to listen and to trust the suprarational.

Hellion said...

Most of the time I get going again by focusing on the end. I know what I want to happen and so I look at where I am and where I want to be and I try to connect the dots.

Oooh, this is very good. Instead of working backwards, you work forwards to get the ball rolling again. Quite brilliant.

I tend to do the looking forward bit when I have my momentum going.

And that is a great reason to go back: if the character is off because the character is all. That is so true. And maybe that's the issue I'm having. I think part of the problem is that I'm not sure how a guy would act in the current situation I have for him.

(Though considering the movie I watched this weekend was about a man whose wife asked for a divorce--and him falling apart and being coached by what would be a very good looking young Lucifer--I could work with that. *LOL*) Hmmmm. Maybe I just need to see this movie about five or six more times.

Hellion said...

Bo'sun, are you suggesting I'm just having arguments with myself? *affronted* Why, only crazy people do that! Are you suggesting that I'm cr...

Never mind.

So what did you think of the movie? I think we should talk about Ryan Gosling's naked chest. Discussion.

Hellion said...

Donna, I want to applaud your brilliance. Everyone, did you see her post? Essentially she said, "Maybe you're WRONG about how you think the story should be going" but she never actually uses those words. She's like a diplomatic genius.

No worries. I already am coming to the unwanted conclusion I'm wrong. Again. *LOL* For like the billionth time. I hope the subconscious doesn't want to change the story framework YET AGAIN. It's one thing to change where it's going; it's another to change the framework altogether.

Hellion said...

Maybe it’s a control issue.

Janga, I don't think there's a maybe to it. *LOL*

George Clooney as my love scene counselor

I would be completely on board with this as well. *fans self*

See, it's that whole TRUST issue. I have trust issues. MAJOR trust issues. *LOL* I'd see a therapist about it, but she'd probably tell me that me and my story need to break up.

hal said...

I'm with you, Hellie. I HATE trusting my subconscious. I'm a plotter, and I want to know exactly what will happen, how it will happen, and what happens next, before I write anything. Unfortunately, writing rarely works like that. Usually, I'm forced to muddle through, trusting some great unknown, that somehow it will all come together in the end.

The crazy thing is, it does. Twice now, I've been writing the suspense plot in which I knew there were giant, gaping holes. And twice, it all came together in the climax scene in an awesome, organic way that I could have never predicted.

So basically, my subconscious is a little bitch who holds back the good stuff until I've invested a year of my life (or two years, or three years, etc, etc, ad nauseum) into writing the damn thing. It's like a business partner who doesn't put up any of the cash up front, but wants the profit in the end. Its extortion!

I don't have any real advice, because I'm muddling around in the same problem, but one thing that's worked for me is to try to write the scene from a different POV. I might not leave it that way, I might try a couple, but sometimes just changing it up and looking at it from a different perspective will either show me what that big, past mistake is that I need to fix, or knock something loose in my head.

hal said...

the restaurant is a great analogy, Donna. Anybody a Top Chef fan? I have a friend who went to Brian Voltaggio's restaurant, and they had the entire kitchen open so customers could see what was going on. She said it was like watching an opera. Everyone worked together in harmony, the staff and servers moved gracefully, everything was coordinated......but she also paid $250 for a four-course lunch and waited three months for the reservation. For LUNCH!

Anyway, my point is, maybe someday when we're all famous published authors who are churning out award winning books, we'll have this amazing opera-like process that newbie writers will watch and ooh and ahh over.

In the meantime, my process is more like the Kitchen Nightmares variety, where the chefs are screaming curse words and throwing things and servers are storming out and dishes are shattering.......hahaha

Bosun said...

I ADORED the movie. Pirates, you all have to go see this movie. The writing is excellent. The structure perfect. At least two twists took me completely by surprise and the ending is priceless.

Ryan without a shirt on was definitely worth the price of admission. LOL! But the writing and acting made the film for me. This was Steve Carrell at his best. Emma Stone is spot on and I don't know who played the son, but that kid nearly stole the picture. LOL!

I think Donna is onto something. Maybe what you think should happen in the current scene isn't what really should. Exploring ome free-writing or other paths might be a good idea.

Now I want more details on Janga's Daily Counselors. Off to look up that book.

Hellion said...

It’s like a business partner who doesn’t put up any of the cash up front, but wants the profit in the end. Its extortion!

EXACTLY, Hal, what kind of work relationship is this that I do all the sweat, blood, and tears--and you just profit from it. It's like the people who say, "Oh, you write? I have a story idea. Let me tell you, you write it, and we'll split the profits" and anytime you go, "How do we solve this?" they go, "I don't know. YOU'RE the writer. I just gave you the AWESOME idea."


And that's a crazy ass price to pay for lunch you waited like four months for! WTF! *LOL*

I suspect no matter how many books we write, the process will always be something like Kitchen Nightmares. *LOL* There will always be tantrums.

Hellion said...

The 13 yr old was so adorable! Those freckles! I love this movie!!

Though I had to wonder, "Why is everything Julianne Moore's in, she's a cheating little tramp?"

Jenny Brown said...

My experience has been that when I get to where I absolutely can't move forward on the project it's because there's a major plot flaw that I have to untangle before I try to write.

It can be all kinds of things. Sometimes my characters are poorly matched--I've put two people together who have no reason to fall in love because they want such different things out of life. Maybe I've put them in a setting that doesn't give them scope for conflict. In one book, I'd killed off a character early on who held the key to unfolding the story. When a friend suggested that he be alive, I threw out three chapters but the next 100 pages almost wrote themselves.

I find the exercises in Alicia Rasley's plotting book, "The Story Within Guidebook" very helpful for checking that my characters have motivations and book length conflicts.

But what I'm basically saying is that my subconscious is not being negative--it's keeping me from writing the hundreds of pages of dead book I used to write before I became aware that books need plots.

So maybe you need to thank your subconscious and ask yourself what major thing that you are completely unaware of is making your book not unfold. Step back and map out your characters motivations. Map each scene and see what changes from the beginning to the end and ask whether it's connected to what happens next and the crisis you're trying to lead up to.

Structural problems are what keep most WIPS from working, but you can work them out.

hal said...

apparently, the price included an exceptional bottle of wine and a significant tip, but still. It's a crazy ass price :)

I'm learning that the initial awesome idea rarely translate to the whole book by the time its been revised. I had the epiphany a while ago that the one kernel of an idea that started me on this whole book no longer has any bearing on the book it's become, and that scene had to be cut. It was heartbreaking, but it had to be done. Sigh.

Hellion said...

Hi Jenny--

So maybe you need to thank your subconscious and ask yourself what major thing that you are completely unaware of is making your book not unfold.

You're right. Gratitude is a much better attitude to have when resolving conflict than being pissed off the whole time. *LOL* Karma's a bitch and all that. :)

Step back and map out your characters motivations. Map each scene and see what changes from the beginning to the end and ask whether it’s connected to what happens next and the crisis you’re trying to lead up to.

But I love that you followed the gratitude first advice immediately with some pragmatic basics to solve the issue a bit like a Sudoku puzzle. Mapping out what you've done with short precise sentences instead of reading the chapter lets you see if the chapter is really working--because just because you like what happened in a chapter doesn't mean it's a chapter that's actually necessary--as Hal talk about her in comment!!

Hellion said...

Seriously, Hal, the kernel of the story idea that started the whole story to begin with is CUT OUT OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT and you never revisited it again? That's wretched, that's...oh, wait, I might have done that. Huh. Maybe that happens more than I think. Weird.

Bosun said...

I love Top Chef and Brian is a cutie and excellent chef, but I'm not paying that kind of money for lunch. LOL! Not even for a Top Chef! (Though, let's be honest. I probably wouldn't like it. And then he'd stab me and where would I be?)

Hal - Do you ever wonder if all the studying you've done on writing hinders more than helps at time? Meaning trying to consciously use what you've learned gets in the way than if you just trust it's in there and let the stuff organically come?

PS: Thanks for meeting up for dinner. I had such a good time.

Bosun said...

Jenny - Does the Rasley book give tools or worksheet type things to use for the mapping? I believe I'm doing much better with this WIP than the last, and I'm gaining steam, but I'd love a little tool that would help me stay on track.

Hellion said...

I know you asked Hal, but I think it only hinders at the beginning. Once you get writing, you sorta forget and just write as fast you can (since the Muse is with you). You only tend to worry about the things you "learned" when the writing is not flowing. Plus I think those things matter a bit more--sometimes--after you've written.

Donna said...

Hellie, thank you for applauding my brilliance, although I must demur -- it was inadvertent brilliance at best. LOL

The post on my blog today seems to dovetail with this discussion. It talks about letting our great expectations ruin a good story, and I end with "Because it doesn't matter how the story came to be. It matters what it becomes".

So I think we can get in our own way sometimes, especially with trying to follow all the writing advice AS we're writing (I do that too, unfortunately).

Hellion said...

So basically we need a blog where we discuss ways in which we get out of our own way. What tips and tricks do you do to get out of your own way and write?

Bosun said...


Bosun said...

Actually, I sleep. Or try to. For some reason, my subconscious is all about plotting from midnight to 2am. WHY I have no idea. Last night a completely new opening idea for the first MS came to me clear as day. Where was this pretty idea 2 years ago???

And what part of BED TIME does this witch not understand??

Hellion said...

Maybe your subconscious is a cat. Never known a cat that understands that midnight to 2 am is actually SLEEP TIME.

I do need to drink more. Not Coors Light. What nasty stuff. How can Deerhunter drink that garbage? Ugh.

Bosun said...

I love Coors Light! Not that I can drink it anymore. *sigh* A cat wouldn't bother giving me any answers. She'd keep me up just making my nose twitch.

Hellion said...

I love Coors Light!

HOW are we friends? *LOL*

Hellion said...

That IS true. Distance is a great way to preserve a friendship. *LOL*

Bosun said...

We live more than a thousand miles apart. The best way to preserve a friendship.

hal said...

Ter, I so loved hanging out with you too! I'm definitely going to have to head down that way more often :)

hal said...

I got caught up in a meeting. But I think Hellie hit the nail on the head. They actually have a special first-year-student meeting where they basically say, "We're going to overlaod you with teaching you how to write, and it's going to give you writer's block, so forget everything we've taught you." Seriously.

It's all significantly more useful in revisions. If I'm working on a first draft, my focus is on discovering the story, not the writing itself, so I try to forget everything I know about writing. But yes, it does trip me up sometimes. Especially when I have to send what's essentially a first draft to a professor -- that really gets to me. But they're all writers too, so they get it.

2nd Chance said...

Terri - Your muse is in a different time zone. ;-)

I'd go with Donna, doesn't matter where it comes from...

The thing about have to be willing to just blindly change how you're doing things sometimes. That's my point about Coyote...he don't tell me anything. He just trips me until I change direction. I suppose it's like tough love. You let the kids keep sticking their fingers into the candle flame until they figure out that is a bad idea.

Hel - You keep trying to reason with the 'block' --- excuse me, Terry Pratchet --- instead of just backtracking and finding a new path.

Though I'll admit, the new path often has holes, too. Coyote likes to laugh at me.

I like the idea (path) of simplyfying the process with a map. Great way to not end up back on the original hole filled path!

Bosun said...

I'll be here, Hal!

I know the structure stuff is better to deal with in revisions, but I also think some of the storytelling elements come through in the first draft the more you write. Or at least the more I write. Part of me is excited about the stuff I'm seeing I couldn't see a year ago. Another part is freaking about all the stuff I'm not seeing that I won't see for another year. LOL!

Hellion said...

It IS a bit like reasoning with a toddler, isn't it? I should know better. I was trying to reason with the 5 year old yesterday when she was misbehaving, but you didn't want to yell at her because you do NOT want to humiliate her and make her cry, but neither do you want her beating you with a rolled up a newspaper. No means no. So you have to decide what the real issue is ("I'm bored, no one is paying attention to me") and solve that instead. Even though that seems like you're rewarding bad behavior.

Bosun said...

That's the perfect explanation, Chance. This chick needs to reset her clock!

2nd Chance said...

Yeah, Hels...but when everyone acts the toddler... Well, I saw two great nieces face off during the Fourth...

I guess my point isn't a block unless you make it one by refusing to change direction. If you stand, nose to the wall and demand an explanation? Well, the wall don't have one. It just is.

And that is sorta woowoo, isn't it?

But you can't reason with a wall, or seduce it, or trick it. And the builder has moved on...

I love the idea of a map and I think that what Hal said, about just writing the first draft and using the 'rules' she's learning for revising. And there is the map! You're the great explorer, out traipsing unknown territory, but once you get to a destination, then you pull out the notes you took on the way and make a better map out things, so the next time through, you already know how to avoid the walls, etc.

Terri, I have no idea how you reset the muse's clock...good luck!

Bosun said...

Love ya, Chance, but you totally lost me in there. *wades thru, looks for shore*

Ironic that Hellie and I are teaching an ecourse next spring on exactly how to get out of this situation. LOL! (Not that she'll find that irony amusing. She's off ship for a little while, so I'm safe. And that distance thing helps.)

2nd Chance said...

Ah. Yer Lewis and Clark...ya sorta know where ya want to go, but it's wilderness and yer gonna take some wrong turns. Run into rivers ya can't cross (a block) or cliffs ya can't climb (a block)...ya keep turnin' around and backtracking till ya find another way ta continue the trek west.

And ya finally get to the west. What a loverlee beach!

No, ya get in a boat and sail back east, where ya need ta put together a map so's ya can get back ta the beach (Revision) via this new land route... Yer not gonna face those rivers or cliffs agin!

So, ya make a map...

Because the reality ain't gonna change and no reasonin' wit' the rivers or cliffs are gonna make them get outta yer way.

Until ya invent the aeroplane.

Life is like a handful of chili peppers... ;-)

Bosun said...

You had me until the last line. LOL! I get the map thing! Maybe even create the map not only avoiding the rivers and cliffs, but finding clearing sections of the forest that make the trip less muddled.

I see what you mean now. (Except that chili peppers thing.)

2nd Chance said...

When you can snatch the pebble from my hand...

Hellion said...

Life is like a handful of chili peppers??? WHAT? *LOL*

Okay, I'm back though I'm sure it doesn't matter now.

Today after the visit to the lawyer, Dad asked me, "Why would either of you have put ME as your beneficiary? Wouldn't you pick someone younger than you?"

Eventually he'll be right. I will need a new beneficiary. If any of you would like to be my beneficiary of my estate, such as it is (though I'm getting a really awesome knitted Praying Mantis, so keep that in mind), please drop me an email and I'll consider you for the position.

morgan said...

When stuck, I write the synopsis. Nothing more painful, but seeing my plot line in black and white makes me see all the holes. So when I do finish it---it looks nothing like the story I originally pitched the edito

2nd Chance said...

Pick me! Pick me!

Bosun said...

Since you're looking for someone younger, I'm out. It's highly unlikely I'd ever outlive you. You'll stay alive just to spite me.


Bosun said...

Wow, Morgan, you're one brave woman. LOL!

Hellion said...

Morgan, you're absolutely hit on a most brilliant strategy. Nothing would get me writing the actual WIP faster than having to do the synopsis! *LOL* Still, if you CAN do it, it will help shine a light of where you've been and where you're going and maybe it'll jog some clarity to what the woowoo subconscious is doing.

Hellion said...

@Chance, you just want my Praying Mantis. *LOL* I want my ashes buried with my Snape wand. *LOL* In Scotland. I'm sure you'll have no trouble doing that, right?

@Bo'sun, don't worry, Chance volunteered. *LOL* And you're right, I would. But there's a lot of people in my family who do just that. *LOL*

2nd Chance said...

Yes, I admit it. I just want your preying mantis... ;-)

Bosun said...

This has to be the only situation in which that is not a euphemism.

Brenda Novak said...

Great blog! Really enjoyed it because I can relate. LOL When I get stuck and can't move forward, it's usually because I've taken a wrong turn. I have to retrench and head off in a new direction--pain in the butt but at least there's someone manning the quality control booth. LOL

Hellion said...

Hi Brenda, pardon me while I do a little fan girl squeal. OMG, Brenda is on the SHIP, PEOPLE! Okay, I'm good now.

"Manning the quality control booth"--I like that. *LOL* Though it reminds me of the Wizard of Oz and the guy was behind the curtain. Sometimes I feel my subconscious is running a con on me that way. :) He LOOKS like a big talking head, but really he's some schmuck snake oil salesman from Kansas...

Still, even when I'm made to sit in the road and think about the direction I'm taking my story, I do find when I finally get on board with the new direction, the Big Talking Head was right. It was what the story absolutely needed. :)

Bosun said...

OMG! You guys, that's Brenda Novak!!! (And right after I made a bad euphemism joke. I'm so embarrassed.)

Quality control. I've never thought of it that way.

2nd Chance said...

'sok, Terri, I'm sure she appreciated the joke! ;-)

Quick, someone ask her to be a guest!

Enid Wilson said...

Maybe you jump to another scene and come back later. Time apart from Adam maybe the right ingredient for figuring what's wrong with his damn POV.

Chemical Fusion

Bosun said...

Good one, Enid. I've considered that. I'm a very linear writer, but scenes for much later in the book keep coming to me. Maybe writing a scene that comes 50 pages later in the story can help unstick whatever the issue is with the current scene.