There’s an old river guide saying that goes something like this: “You can’t push the river.” Right now, I’m feeling as if that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’ve hit a another rough patch in my YA novel and it’s slow going — a little like slogging through molasses. I’ve gotten some helpful feedback about my opening: the message is that the beginning is too slow. After not looking at it for a while, I’ve revisited it and I have to agree. It’s not as engaging as it could or should be.
There’s not a great first sentence that reels you in and the opening focuses on a secondary character, not my little heroine. So I’ve got to make some changes. But, what to do? What to do? I need a fresh idea — an exciting “gateway” to my story, as my wonderful sister Stephanie puts it. But I’m having a hard time coming up with something.
Steph suggested that I take a day or two off and just forget about this thorny, nettlesome, niggling problem. That way, I can let things percolate and come back to the whole opening with a new slant. Not sure that’s the best approach, but I do think taking my friend and mentor Rob Gilbert’s advice is a good idea. When you get stuck, his solution is to get “fascinated instead of frustrated.” Right now, I’m squarely in the “frustrated” category. How I go from point A to Point B and hit the “fascination” jackpot?
The best way, it seems to me, is to make my rewrite fun and playful — and to free myself from the pressure to come up with something — that’s a creativity stealer. So I’m going to ease up a bit, ask my intuition for some guidance, relac, and be kind to myself, because rewriting can be challenging. Then, I’m just going to play around and see what I come up with. Any ideas for getting those creative juices flowing again when you hit a roadblock? I’d love any suggestions about anything that works for you when you get stuck. Right now, I need all the help I can get!