Rachel McLean

– Thrillers That Make You Think

How Writing Fast, and Publicly, Helps Me Power Through Writer’s Block

It’s now Wednesday, and I’m more than a third of the way into my #novelinaweek.

This is often the point at which I falter when writing a novel. The story has been set up, the characters have been introduced, and the protagonist has to start reacting to events. She’s not being proactive yet – that happens after the midway turning point, but she does have to do stuff. Sitting around waiting for the crime to get solved just won’t do.

I won’t share what’s happened in the novel so far (that would spoil it) but I will share the fact that this fast writing process turns out to be a BIG help when it comes to breaking through that 30k word barrier.

With the last book I wrote (the sequel to A House Divided – writing and publication are a long way from being close to each other), I found that I paused for a week at the 30k stage. I just got stuck. This was even though I’d plotted it meticulously, using my story planning notebook.

But I just couldn’t break through. Eventually after a week I forced myself to get butt into chair and just write.

And you know what? It wasn’t difficult. Just sitting down was the hardest part, and I picked up pace straight away. I even enjoyed it.

The greatest thing about this challenge I’m doing this week (I’m starting to think I’m insane) is that it forces me to power through those blocks. If I stop, I’ll fail. And if I stop, everyone following my progress will know about it. I can’t afford to take even a day off, much less a week, so I just keep going.

And it’s working too. I recommend it!


If you want to follow my #novelinaweek progress, here are some links:

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