I’m stuck working on Story Blue. I figured out why I’m stuck, though.
I have what I think is an interesting and potentially entertaining idea for the story. I have established the tone that I want. I have an outline roughed out. But- the story is stuck at a little under 2000 words. It has failed to progress. Until now I wasn’t quite sure why.
I realized that the stories I love the most have well-developed characters: Valentine Michael Smith, Oscar Gordon, Bilbo Baggins. That’s the problem with Story Blue. I’ve got the idea, tone, and rough plot. But the main character isn’t interesting yet. He hasn’t yet come alive as I’m writing him.
So I’m back to the drawing board. My wife and I went to see The Hunger Games tonight. We saw, among others, the trailer for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s pseudo-prequel to Alien. The name “Prometheus” got me thinking about the Greek Titan and an idea started germinating as the movie began. Again- I have what I like as an interesting premise for a story. When we got home, I turned on the PC, opened up Evernote, and captured 100 or so ideas for Story Orange. I captured the premise of the story and the setting- but I also captured what I think is the most important thing I need right know- the need to create a protagonist that is interesting, well-defined, and seems capable of holding a reader’s interest. I’m going to focus on that over the next couple of days. Let me get the character right then I’ll start on the story.
(I’m not throwing away anything on Story Blue. I like what I’ve got so far- I think this exercise of building a robust character will absolutely translate when I go back to Blue.)
I’ve placed this post in my “Open Notebook” so here’s a thought that might be valuable to you. During your own transformation, be an interested observer in what you are doing in your process. Stopping, observing yourself, and analyzing what you are doing can be worthwhile. If you’ve hit a block, that self-awareness might help you identify exactly what is blocking you. Once you can figure out what is blocking you then you can solve for that.
Good luck- and good writing! (Or whatever is your thing!)