My most recent bout of Writer’s Block lasted more than three months. It’s nothing compared to my five-year Block, but it was still frustrating. I felt stuck and didn’t know how to move forwards or backwards from a specific point in Penny for Your Dreams. For the first time since forever, I was actually editing and rewriting before completing my first draft. I rewrote one particular scene five or six times in hopes of striking an appropriate chord with my novel. Ultimately the solution turned out to be rather simple.
I was incorporating what I’d hopped would be Weasley twins incarnates into my novel. I liked them. I wanted to give them a lot of spotlight. I really wanted other people to like them. However, I ended up realising I could never produce characters that measure up to the Weasley twins. Not only that, I can’t even write twins without making them sound cliché or cheesy. So I did the next best thing and got rid of them. Well… more or less.
I couldn’t handle the pressure they were putting me under. Every time I sat to write they would sorta poke persistently at me to remind me of their share in the spotlight, and I tried my best to accommodate them. I reworked their punchlines so many times to make sure they weren’t lame. I tried to make them mischievous and endearing at the same time. I wanted them to be interested in Penny without sort of giving the girl a male harem. But I failed miserably. They had some needs too. They wanted to blackmail Penny in exchange for keeping their silence about something she did, but I could not for the life of me think of what they wanted, and they didn’t care enough to help. =/
It saddened me to do it, but I realised that they were not doing anything to the story. They were just cute twins set in the novel to make my MC miserable. So I ended up shoving them to the background. Currently they’re just two twins operating the Naughty Office, with a rare line here and there. Once I removed them and edited out their parts, it felt like a huge elephant was lifted off my chest and I was able to write again.
Since their departure, I’ve written more than 3000 words when I’d been struggling with 300 for the last few months. I’m able to make steady progress and the things I’ve been worried about seem to melt away. It’s a shame that I didn’t come to this conclusion earlier, because I am really loving this novel and I’m excited to finish it and publish it for everyone else to read. I don’t know how quickly I’ll be able to finish it since I’m swamped under work and paperwork right now, but at least I’m making progress and that makes me happy! 🙂
Got any huge elephant sitting on your chest too? Did you ever try to lure it away by letting go of one of your characters?