Some give up. That’s it, I’m at 30,000 words and there’s nothing more to say. But what if the imperative stop our minds raise for us is beneficial to our craft?
What if our trained instincts are telling us that it’s time to take a look, not at the next 1,000 words, but at the story structure as a whole? If you accept that our inner writers, in partnership with our inner readers, know quite a lot, and that it’s our strong talent that keeps us longing to write, then when our mind refuses to take another step, we perhaps ought, like Lassie’s owner at cliffside, to stop and listen.
This extended pause may well be a gift to story structure. We can use ten minutes here and there to outline the story as a whole, character development arcs, individual turning points, Hero’s Journey structure, individual scene structure. Write blurbs, reviews, and taglines. It may take days, or weeks, or whatever, to pass, but the more we think positively and professionally about using this blank white time, the less fear we feel facing it.