ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Writing Yourself Out of That Corner You Just Wrote Yourself Into

Updated on June 3, 2015
neildabb profile image

Neil is an owner of DragonTech Writing, a techncial writing firm located in Logan, Utah. He is also a published freelance writer.

Now what?
Now what?

Writers block

There are probably as many ways to get past writer’s block as there are successful writers. Those writers who never get past writer’s block are probably not successful.

Whether the solution is to write through the block or write around it (allowing the piece that is blocked to age) the common element is to continue writing. Keeping the brain working on the block is the only way to discover how to destroy the block, or push the block aside.

First I lost a character for several days. She was supposed to be with four other characters, but never showed up. Then when I was working on another novel I discovered that the wrong person was narrating the whole first half of the novel, and that the protagonist of the story disappeared just as his mate was about to tell him something important.
You’re writing along, painting this beautiful world when all of a sudden you find you’ve painted yourself into a corner. The intrepid writer might determine to wait for the paint to dry and then fix the problem. Unfortunately all those hours staring at the beautiful world they’ve created makes it even harder to go back and fix, and many times this situation can lead to another dangerous writing malady, writer’s block. So the questions becomes, now what?
First, realize that your words are not set in stone! That freshly painted world can be modified much easier now than it can after the writer has stared at it for hours or even days. Don’t be afraid to go back and change directions.
Next, analyze. Is it really a corner, or a door to an even more exciting world? Look closer, are the walls really walls, or a fence that can be leaped? How thick are the walls? Could a swift kick break through them? Imagine what might be on the other side? Look up. Is there something interesting up there? If so, start climbing (every writer has, or should have, a fly suit so they can scale the walls).
Another trick while analyzing is to look at the big picture. Is it really a corner? Or did the protagonist simply take a wrong turn (and would it be fun to see what happens while back tracking)? Speaking of back tracking, search for where the story took a wrong turn. How does eliminating that turn affect the story? Don’t let a minor set back ruin a really good story. Let your characters help you. What would your character really do in this situation? If the characters are not talking to the writer you’re missing out on a marvelous tool for creating fictional worlds. Listen to what they have to say.
Finally write!!! Again, the words are not set in stone (at least not yet). Ignore the temptation to let things sit (save that luxury for the re-writing process). You painted yourself into the corner, now write yourself out. Let go of the notion that the first draft has to be perfect. In this case anything is better than the situation you’re in.
Writing oneself into a corner is not a good thing but it can be the gateway to more adventure. In the movie “Her Alibi” the main character (a novelist) is told that his work is “predictable”. He loathes this criticism, and works to change it. What better way to be un-predictable than to find a way out of the corner, rather than to let the paint dry, or worse yet, never finish the work at all. Escape from the corner is an adventure all by itself. Savor the journey!

qed.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)