Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG: Scene Frustration

The IWSG is a welcoming community where writers can share their fears and insecurities about the writing life. To learn more, check out their website here


I have been stuck in the same scene for...probably a month now? And considering that I'm writing this book out of order anyway, I should just hop to a different one, right? Wrong! This scene is now my personal nemesis, and I am bound and determined to get to the end of it. It will not beat me!

I had a bit of a block going on with it anyway, as it's one of those turning points in the book where big things are revealed. I always kind of freeze up w/these types of scenes, because I know I'm going to get something wrong, but I really want to get it right the first time. And in first drafts, that just doesn't happen. 

I need to just give myself permission to let it suck. Like: Let it goooo!!! (none of us are familiar w/that phrase whatsoever...) That should be my mantra from now on for first drafts: Let it suuuuck!!! ;)


Also, some exciting stuff happened yesterday around here-- the cover reveal for Circuits and Slippers (designed by the amazing Najla Qamber)!! I love it so much, that I'm going to show it off two days in a row! (sorry to all of you who've already seen it) =D

A collection of retold fairy tales with a science fiction twist.

Rapunzel is a soldier, the last remaining member of the human race, locked in a zoological tower on an alien planet. Doctor Belle must remain in quarantine with a powerful politician who has contracted a beastly disease. Jack sells his arm for a chance up the Stalk, the space elevator he hopes will take him to his fortune.

These twenty stories will take you across the galaxy, exploring new technology alongside aliens and cyborgs, princes and evil stepmothers, and telling your favorite classic tales like you've never seen them before.


  1. I've been blocked with my book for a couple of months now. :\ I decided I needed to add some stuff in here and there and it's sucking my creative energy right out the window.

    This is my first time seeing the cover. I love it! I enjoy retold fairy tales. :)

  2. Writer's block can be a big nuisance. Do something different, either write a short story or read a book, let your sub-conscious mind percolate over that scene for a few days.

  3. I so hear you on a scene like that! I've been telling myself for a while now that first drafts are meant to suck. It's the only way I'm getting through my current WIP, but it really, really sucks. If I start thinking too much about it, I want to delete the file and forget it happened :)

  4. This has never happened to me with such intensity. I am stuck in the next-to-last scene of my book and I just ca't seem to get through it.
    I love your Rapunzel!

  5. Hope you get unstuck.
    Saw that book on another blog. Cool cover.

  6. That cover is stunning! I hope you are able to work out your scene soon.

  7. I sometimes find that scenes unfold one draft at a time. In Layers. I give myself permission to put anything down on the page in a first draft. If it's really bad, I run it by a critique partner or occasionally my conceptual editor.

  8. Ahh, so cool to see the cover on your blog!! LOVE!!!! I'm adding it to Goodreads now!

    Just let that scene suck and stink and rot in its own yuckiness. There's always time to fix it later!!!! No one EVER writes a perfect first draft. The magic happens in the revising. :)

  9. This happens to me a lot. Sometimes I can just skip it or move on, but sometimes that scene is crucial and if I don't get it mostly right, the rest of the book won't work. Taking a break or working on something else for a bit sometimes helps.

    I have a couple of scenes like this in the book that I'm querying, but now I can't believe they're the ones I struggled so hard over. So hang in there! This may end up being your favorite scene. :)

    And I love the cover! Sounds like my kind of book.

  10. I have a saying. When in doubt, leave it out. I have a Junkyard with lots of deleted scenes that I'm able to plug and play on future works. So if you cannot use it now you may be able to use it later.

    Stephen Tremp
    IWSG Co-Host August 2016

  11. That's how I got over scene block. I told myself to go ahead and write crap- a whole lot of crap. The upside? Crap is amazing fertilizer and sometimes in the pile of crap is something usable. Go ahead...write some sucky stuff. I dare you!

  12. Oh my! I was there not too long ago too. I think I was stuck for a good three months and I couldn't get past it. I sat down and wrote out every possible scenario and talked through it with so many friends. Finally! You will get it too. May I borrow your mantra? I love it. :)

  13. Great that you're slogging through your scene, you'll get there, and that cover, wow, nice!

  14. That's so frustrating. When I have these moments I find that the more I think about it, the worse it gets. I put it in the back of my mind and get on with something else and eventually it falls into place. I hope you find your way through it soon. I love the sound of this book and that's a great cover. Good to meet you through ISWG.

  15. All I can suggest is just getting what you can down and trying to work through it like that. Don't focus on perfection yet. What do you need to happen in this scene? What are the characters going through? Break the scene up. Ask yourself questions and provide answers.

    Of course I've never had anything published or written a book.

    Oh well. Maybe you'll get it figured out soon. Especially if the whole bathroom renovation has been distracting you.

  16. Love the anthology cover and write up. It sounds amazing!

    *I'm sure your scene won't suck as much as you think, and even if it does, there's always the delete key. Good luck!

  17. That's a gorgeous cover, Leandra! (I'm such a sucker for cover art)
    I enjoy retold fairytales. You never know what the author will do with the story. There are so many different spins you can put on the original.
    I hope you get to the end of that "stubborn" scene!!

  18. Congrats on your story in the anthology! Love the cover.
    If I don't know what to do with a scene, I write down what I know of it, even if it sounds terrible, and then leave it for a few days. When I come back to it, the light bulb will usually go on and I'm off and running again. Good luck with it!


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