Surviving Writers Block

shadow picture of man slowly typing

I thought I was making really good progress on the sequel to Fallen Warriors early this year. I’d put together a plot that seemed to allow me to tell the story I wanted to tell, I’d managed to write around 30,000 words, then I ground to a halt in the Spring.

It didn’t help that I’ve been working flat out all year, going straight from contract to contract, sometimes spending more time working than I’d hoped or planned. Yet I think the real problem was more practical even than that.

I was trying to write and edit at the same time. It just killed my ability to continue the story.

My first draft of Fallen Warriors was a glorious mess, full of odd scenes that had no apparent relevance to the overall story, but which I found myself writing simply because I knew I needed to write something, anything to take the story forwards. The plot was too complex, the characters… well there were too many of them. Trying to be creative and adhere to some sort of structure at the same time kept me stalling and was probably a major cause of the book taking ten years to write.

Those odd scenes ended up being some of the most beautiful parts of the story for me. The chance for me to explore who the characters were in more depth and understand what made them who they were.

I now feel I need the same freedom with the sequel, but last year and early this year I didn’t give myself that freedom and I ended up unable to continue.

I didn’t stop writing though, I simply changed track. Here’s something I don’t know if I’m ready to share, but here goes… My working title for the sequel was Fallen World. It would be good to hear what you think of that title, but you should know that I’m already considering another.

I wanted to explore what the title might mean and so began writing a couple of short stories set in the Fallen Warriors universe. My hope is that I’ll be able to publish these soon, allowing you a wider glimpse into where the story will go while I aim to complete the first draft of the sequel.

In addition, as I’ve had to focus on work far more this year, I’ve used that to motivate me to complete a first draft of a non-fiction book. If you signed up to my mailing list you’ve already heard about it and even had the chance to read an ealy draft and give feedback on it. If you’re not on my mailing list and would like to be the first to hear my news, you can sign up from the link at the top of the page or here.

I had a bit of a breakthrough last week with my thinking about the sequel and am aiming to take a new approach in January. I’d appreciate your prayers and encouragement.

I’ve two more Christmas/book Fayres to attend in the next couple of weeks, one in Argyll and the other in Dundee.

Poster for Dundee Book Fair on 8 December 2018

If you’ve any connection to Dundee, please share the above poster and let people know the book fair is on Saturday 8th December 2018 from 10am till 4pm at City Church, Tulideph Road, Dundee DD2 2PN. It would be great to see you!

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