What Comes After “Once Upon A Time?”

By Rachel Hauck 
Well, here it is the middle of November and you’ve been pounding away on your NaNoWriMo novel.
Sometimes, it feels like this picture. Once upon a time…
And you’re out of room.
Out of juice
Out of creativity.
NaNo is supposed to be a grind-it-out month.
No stopping to plan or rework your story or edit.
Just write.
So what do you do if you’re just stuck?
Here are a few tips:
1. Remember what the story is about? What the protagonist want? Have you shown this enough? Have you caused them to move farther and farther from their goal?
2. Write a scene out of sequence. The other day I came home and wrote a scene for the first of the book rather than the beginning of the middle where I’d written to at that point. The scene came to me and I knew it was one I needed so I wrote it.
3. Flip through a magazine. Or page through pictures. Find visual inspiration. I just downloaded a bunch of pictures from think stock.com. Some of them I found inspirational.
4. Do a sit-down with your character. Talk. But write it all down. I’ve made some great discoveries this way.
5. Take a break. Get up from the story. Walk away. But don’t leave for more than 15 minutes. Come write back and see if you don’t see something new or better in the scene you were writing.
Writing is work. But don’t be afraid to be creative and try a different approach.
Happy writing!
New York Times & USA Today best-selling, award-winning author Rachel Hauck loves a great story. She is on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship for their annual conference. In 2013 she was named ACFW’s Mentor of the Year. She lives in Florida with her husband and ornery cat. Read more about Rachel atwww.rachelhauck.com.