Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tips to Keep from Burning Out Before the Black Moment

I'm on the gazzilionth draft of my WIP, because I can't sit well with my conclusion section. I'm not feeling my Black Moment- the place in the novel when it seems that my girl's goose is cooked and there's no way she can get out of her trouble. And for a few weeks I believed I burned out trying to fix it until this week. Let me share a few things that helped me get out the Black...so to speak.

1. I read about the bad moments in my life.
Keep a journal or a blog. Here on CFB and especially at The Master's Artist Blog I have shared some candid times that at the time seemed impossible to get away from. Returning to those journals gives me a reference point to infuse into my character.

2.Return to old prayer requests.
My email and my calendar is filled with personal prayer requests from friends and family members. I read their situation and notice the words they use to share their despair.

3. Watch well written movies for advice.
Michael Clayton the Movie had my head spinning. I didn't have a clue how he would fix his mess. I felt so bad for him, but then understand how he got in that position. I went back to my character and looked at her story arc. Does she deserve where she is? Is there a line of redemption for her in this horrible spot?

4. Read award winning books, who have tackled your problem very well.
Purple Hibiscus[Adichie] and Secret Life of Bees[Kidd] are the kind of books that sweep me in. These characters are so fragile when they get to their Black Moments. I fear they'll break.

5. Revisit your character's story arc.
The Black Moment should be the place she didn't want to be in the beginning. Make sure that information is clear, but subtle at the beginning. For instance in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth believed that she was the smarter more wise sister and friend. She later learns that her own pride in her self set off a chain reaction that has hurt the people she loved most. So instead of her sister almost ruining the family. She almost did.

6. Step away from it until your best writing time
I tried to write these chapters in different times of the day, although I know very late or very early is my best times to write. Save the juiciest parts of the story for writing at the quietest more thoughtful times in your day.

7. Write something else.
I took a week away from the book and began working on a short story. Plotting out that story and building a character for it cleared my mind. I found myself answering my problem while writing this new piece

8. What about You?

Cite: Rebecca's Hat Photo Courtesy of BestyJean79

2 comments:

Rhonda McKnight said...

Those are good suggestions, especially moving on to something else to clear your head.

Dee S. said...

Thanks, Rhonda. Nice new pic!

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