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.
I GET STUCK A LOT, FOLKS.
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.
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