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Monday, July 14, 2014

Writer’s Block or What Do I Do Now?



I never get writer’s block. Well, not until now. My latest work-in-progress has me stumped. If you’ve read either of my Outer Rim books, you know Rissa Dix (pronounced “Deece”—she very particular about that) runs a tavern in Astron Colony. She’s Celara’s (The Pilot) confidante and Laning’s (The Chameleon) good friend. After being a secondary character, Rissa deserves her own story.

Rissa has gotten mixed up with human traffickers. By accident, she came across a slave ship docked at Astron for refueling. I’m not saying she’s nosy but . . . Something about that crew didn’t set right so she snooped around and discovered two teen girls destined for a prostitution ring. She got them to safety before the ship left. That was six months ago. Now different traffickers are back with an even bigger cargo—over twenty children. This time she has help rescuing them.

But now where do I go with the story?

It’s possible that I don’t know why she’s sticking her neck out. In general, the people on the Rim went out there for a reason—they want to be left alone. They left the Central Planets because they hate rules/laws or they’re running away from something or someone. They could be explorers, adventurers, opportunists, or criminals. Some were stationed there by the central government to maintain order.

Rissa is very outgoing. She chats easily with customers. Yet even to her closest friends, she doesn’t reveal her past. Worse, she won’t tell me. Very frustrating.

Any suggestions?

18 comments:

  1. I can identify with your frustration. I've been stumped by my current WIP since March! As or Rissa, it sounds like her past has strong ties with her actions. I think either she was once kidnapped by the (and got away) or someone she loved (a younger sister?) was lost to the human traffickers. Or maybe she discovered her father was involved in the business and she's doing it to atone.

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    1. Oooh, good possibilities, Patty. Thanks.

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  2. I'd love to see her go undercover as one of the girls in the prostitution ring in order to find out what's going on. Not sure who the hero is, but it would be great if the hero was the guy running the ring. Of course he'd have a good reason or things aren't always as they seem. Good luck! :)

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    1. Now that's something I never thought of, Liz. Thanks.

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  3. Don't forget Diane that you can use the character questions we received at the one meeting. They were great at digging deeper into the character's psyche. I wish you all the best. :)

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. I'll look for those questions.

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  4. I agree with Patty, I think its something from her past making her react the way she does, and the undercover idea is fabulous! You might try listing 10 things or so of the worst possible things that could happen and see if any jive.
    Have fun! : )

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  5. Quite frustrating, Diane. Been there too. Maybe she has made a long ago promise she no longer wants to keep. Or maybe she doesn't want to go in the direction you're taking her in the story.

    I know you'll find it. Annette

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  6. Wow - you got some amazing answers, Diane! Keep us posted on whether they help, and best of luck taking a sledgehammer to that writer's block. :)

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    1. A sledgehammer. Now why didn't I think of that? :)

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  7. perfect opportunity to dig. ask her questions, does she have siblings, did something tragic happen to her? warmer? what? an accident? rape? corner her! make her squirm - she'll talk! in the story, she can ask herself why she's doing it, or someone else can and she doesn't have to respond, but it will make her think, too. she'll feel better once it's off her chest!

    i love treating characters this way, they feel so real! and it comes across the page that way too.

    thanks also for commenting on my broken branch falls blog tour!

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    1. Tara, you are cruel. LOL Thanks for the advice.

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  8. Wherever you go with this story, I will have to read it. My debut novel is out next month and it is about three girls who are kidnapped from the local mall and forced into the world of minor sex trafficking. My suggestion: free flow writing. Give your character an hour and see what she tells you. You don't have to use it. But she might have some ideas that haven't even occurred to you yet. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Kim. Glad you told me/us about your debut novel. I'll look for it.

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  9. When I get stuck I dive into research. I know there are undercover agency searching out young girls who've been forced into prostitution. I've heard some talk on NPR. I'd listen to some of their stories or find some articles in the papers or magazines. You might find a thread that will lead you back to where you're stuck. Good luck.

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    1. Great idea! Even though my story takes place in another "world" I'll bet I can find info that I can use. Thanks.

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