Some days, I got nothing.

Have you ever faced a moment in writing a story when the characters or plot runs flat no matter how hard you try to work it out? Face it, we’ve all been there before. You’re lost in the maze and you can’t find an escape.

What do you do when you get stuck on a work of fiction?

How do you handle not so much writer’s block, but plot block?

Writing a novel is a tedious and sometimes exasperating process. Typically, the middle of a novel is the place where writers say they struggle the most. You wrote a great beginning and probably thought of a stunning  ending, but the details of the middle are bogged down.  Now it’s time to tie them together.

 Conflict is the answer most of the time, but how do you get past plotting problems and writer’s block?

Without conflict, you will never make it past the half-way mark.  No conflict, no story.

Here are some other ideas to help you not get stuck in the middle.

1. A critique group:

Nothing helps writer’s block more than bouncing your ideas off of others.

2. Equip yourself. Plan.

I am a great believer in the visuals of novel planning. I get hold of paper, colored pens, pins and post-its. I draw a timeline for the novel, divided it into sections. I dredged up all the notes I’d scribbled down for themes, scenes, dialogue, suggestive ideas that I’d thought in the past I might like to fit into the narrative, and I started to write them in on the timeline, roughly where I thought I’d like them to occur.

Make a Powerpoint slide show.

3. Write.

Look at your plan constantly and look at the first event through to the end. Think, “How do I want to present this? Who’s narrating it? Where does it happen? What kind of tone?” “What is the premise of my story or main theme?”

4. Don’t be afraid to change things.

I just had to do this with a story that is about to be published. I had to change the main character’s POV. This was tough, but I learned lots.

5. Promise yourself something amazing at the end of it all.

Not the finished manuscript, but your current draft. Promise yourself that when you’ve reached the target, you can have what you most want in the world. If that doesn’t work than make a promise after you finish a few chapter.