Monday, October 27, 2014

Lost that Lovin' Feeling?

Before we jump in, I’ve recently discovered something: a majority of my posts are either pep talks, or advice on how to get through being stuck.


But I think that’s normal. Roadblocks in a manuscript can come from so many different things: your plot may have taken a wrong turn down a dead-end road; you may be hitting a complete blank on what happens next; good, old-fashioned fear may have you paralyzed. And then there's the super-sad explanation: you just don’t feel the connection to your story. 

I’m working on a new WIP, and I’ve hit every single one of these roadblocks over the past month. Hard times in the Smith house, y’all. So, I dug into my arsenal of roadblock-bashing material. The most recent blockage I hit was that super-sad one I mentioned: lack of connection to the story. One thing I’ve come to embrace is the Manuscript Love List. I can't take credit for this one; I got the idea from Stephanie Perkins.

Here's the idea: you make a list of all the things you love about your manuscript. Easy, right? It may sound super-basic and you may be wondering how that can possibly help, but I urge you to give it a try—you may be surprised! For example, here are a few of the love list items from my upcoming YA Contemporary, PLAY ON.

Starry skies
Pick-up trucks
Wide-open fields
Baseball games during cool springtime nights

I jotted these down in the early stages of the story, and as the story grew, so did my list. Just reading over the things I love about the story gets me into the mindset of its atmosphere and, most importantly, of why I wanted to write it in the first place. So if you’re stuck, give it a try! You may just fall in love all over again. J


  1. Great idea! I have another one. Often, my ms is inspired by a song or two. I just happened to hear "my" song last night (which I then turned up LOUD) -> insta-love for my ms!

  2. I have a 20K word block I hit every. Single. Time. (Well this time, it hit at 26K) It just seems like my wheels spin but I go nowhere. I love lists and music and will definitely be trying out these great ideas to help me get over this hump.

  3. Making a Manuscript Love List is a wonderful idea to get the story going again! I'm going to start one for my NaNo project. :)

  4. Awesome! I've done this before too. I usually have to do this several times to finish a manuscript.