I got stuck on a chapter last night. It was just deadly dull and I knew it was. I had a lot of exposition that had to happen, but no organic way to trickle it into the story – or at least none that was manifesting itself on the page.
I pared it back, trying to determine just how much was necessary right now, but even after the paring, it just wasn’t flowing right. It was too…talky. Way too talky.
So I finally decided I was going to take a walk and clear my head. It’s autumn in Pennsylvania, and the colors are amazing. People are using their fireplaces now and the air smells sooooo good. I started walking, and as I did, I played a game of “What if XXXX were walking with me..” What would I ask them? What would they want to tell me?
We had this amazing conversation, XXXX and I. I’m sure I mumbled a bit to myself and my neighbors think I’m even more unbalanced than usual (well, I am a writer, after all) but it helped. By taking XXXX out of his story and putting him in mine, it gave me a lot more clarity about what needed to be said, and when. And how.
Change up your surroundings, and change up your character’s surroundings. I ended up changing the entire setting of the scene, and the new location lent itself to the exposition nicely, making it all “fit” so much better.
So my advice for today: Take a hike!