Sometimes you hit a deadend. The story line comes to a screeching halt and you have no idea how to get from point A to point B. Or in the revision process you have a glaring gap between scenes and you’re stuck for something to help in the transition. That’s happened to me often enough–just this week, in fact.
There are a couple of lifelines I rely on to help me move forward. One is “call a friend.” I find it essential to have a writing buddy or critique group that I can bounce ideas off of. Sit down together and brainstorm. Take a pencil and notebook and let the ideas flow. Maybe you won’t have an eye-opening experience during that session, but I guarantee you that 95% of the time, a golden nugget will emerge that will save you from creative bankruptcy.
Another technique you can use to help you brainstorm is to get out into nature or into a milieu that can transport you to another place. Let your senses take in whatever is happening around you. Listen to sounds and conversations, browse garage sales or bookstores, camp out at Starbucks, or just take a long walk. Give free rein to your mind and wait for the creative Spirit to take over.
And finally, just sleep on it. At bedtime, read a few pages surrounding or preceding the black hole in your manuscript. Pray–ask to receive ideas that will inspire you to continue then see what happens in the morning. We are not alone in the writing process.