Weekly word count: 5000
At the start of this week, I did not think I was going to be able to make my count. I was having a lot of trouble with the story's flow. I knew where I needed to go, but couldn't quite figure out how to encourage my characters to get from where they were to where they needed to be for the next step. I'd barely done 1500 words by Thursday and I wasn't very happy with what I had.
I realized I needed to take a step back and figure out where I started to go wrong. I've found that when I have writers' block or a plot crash, it's because I've forgotten to include a thread I'd been planning on using or I've inadvertently blocked off an avenue. Usually going back a chapter or two and reviewing what I've done is enough to get me back on track.
This time, two chapters wasn't enough. I went right back to the first chapter and began making chapter by chapter notes on all the subplots I'd set up. This way, I could have my complete plot tapestry in front of me and figure out where I got off track and, more importantly, how to get myself back on the path.
After going through the first ten chapters, I had my answer. I'd gotten very caught up in a subplot which is important to the overall series arc and I'd accidentally dropped the romance arc between my hero and heroine. Once I realized that, the words and ideas started to flow smoothly once again.
I've heard many different opinions on writers' block over the years. Some authors advocate taking time away from writing until the muse is ready to speak again. Some tell us to just keep writing through the garbage until we've dug through to the veins of gold waiting underneath.
Personally, I think it's important to try and get to the source of the blockage. When the words stop flowing, it's a sign that something is wrong. Figuring out where I've made the mistake has always been the key to breaking through blockage for me.