I’ve Got The Sloooowwwwzzzzz

August 27, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 17 comments


Can’t seem to get it together.   I know exactly why.  Plot issues with my current wip.  When I sold this book, the outline rocked.  But then we decided to add a paranormal element.  And it changed GMC stuff with my hero.  I’m trying really hard to figure out what his primal urge is in this story, and I just can’t quite put my finger on it.  And to go forward, I need to know what that is!


Grrrrr.  Usually I can work these issues out with hubby during our morning walks, but we haven’t been walking.  He gets up way too early for me these days, and well, with his season in full swing, our schedules just aren’t jiving. 


I think I need to phone a friend.


What do you do when you’re stuck like this?





  1. Edie

    Call me! I’m a friend!

    When this happens to me, I walk my dog and let my mind wander. The solution often comes to me. Or I think of the story when I go to bed and let my unconscious figure it out while I sleep. Or I talk to or email a friend. 🙂

  2. LisaK

    I don’t want to appear dumb, but what does GMC stand for? I’ve never been good with abbreviations. *sigh*

    I like staying in bed for a quarter hour or so longer than usual, when I’m not yet fully awake – that gives me the best ideas! The only problem is that you might fall asleep again… 🙂

    Or I listen to a song that fits the scene or the general mood in the book – that sometimes makes scenes or characters and their aims come to me from out of nowhere.

  3. Margaret

    I walk alone and think it out. Sometimes I call my SIL (a well-read non-writer) and just bounce things around with her.
    Good luck, Karin!

  4. B.E. Sanderson

    I grab a notebook and pen, sit on the couch and free write. Whatever comes into my head – related to the book, of course – goes onto the page. I ask myself questions and then work on answering them – like I was talking to someone else. Usually it breaks whatever dam I’m up against. I know I could do all this in my head, but putting it on paper makes it more concrete, and it gives me the opportunity to go back later to look at what I was thinking.

  5. J. Carson Black

    I bang my head against the wall until my eardrums bleed…

    Not really. Walking is good. Or the gym. Or sitting outside with a notebook and looking for the LEAST likely thing that could happen next.

  6. Charlotte Featherstone

    I usually sit at the computer, swear, curse, pray to the creator to please inspire me….you know, the basics.

    Then I say to myself, “I’m going to write down whatever the hell comes to mind,” and go from there.

    I had the exact same problem with Bran, the heroine in Velvet Haven. I just could not get a handle on him, and what he was about. So, I wrote a scene with a stream of conscience feel, in his pov, and it turned out to be the beginning I was looking for and also gave me insight into his character.

    I’m long distance, but I’m happy to ‘talk’ via emails!

    Good luck with this, Karin, totally sucks I know!

  7. Bonnie H

    I usually call my second bff (next to hubby) which is my 18 year-old dau and current writing partner. Sometimes I can’t get her though, she’s in Maui so our schedules don’t always mesh. Then I’ll listen to my current WIP “soundtrack” and just write whatever – a lot of times its junk but sometimes I can salvage something.

  8. Fedora

    Everyone’s had good suggestions–call someone else, or just sit and see what you can throw on paper, or maybe take a walk/swim/run by yourself (or whatever using-another-part-of-your-brain/body activity you prefer–cooking?) to see what you might shake loose 🙂 Good luck, Karin!

  9. Terry Odell

    I know what you mean, Karin. I’ve reached the point where I know my villain (76K words into the ms), and I’ve got his motivation down, but all of a sudden it’s one of those … wait. Howe did he find out that crucial fact that led him to commit the crime.

    Since I didn’t have a definite villain (but he’s the right guy — I think it’s a subconscious thing that has him on scene everywhere he should be, and now I know WHY he was really there) and hubby has been reading daily output pages, he said he didn’t want to know. He wanted it to be a surprise, so I can’t talk with him about it.

    I’ve been emailing my daughter, but she’s in Northern Ireland, so the timing can get tricky.

    Good luck. I just finished Rohan & Isabel’s story and really enjoyed it. Going to have to get the next one.

    (As an aside — why does everyone think you have to add a paranormal element? Enough already (but I know if your editor says jump, you have to say ‘how high.’)

  10. Jill James

    I go to coffee with my friend, Lee. Together we can figure it out. She throws out ideas I wouldn’t even think about without her.

    ps. I love paranormal so write, write, write, so I can read it. LOL

  11. Jody

    Push your book and your characters right out of your mind. Purposefully ignore them, like you’d ignore the drunk guy who keeps trying to hit on you at your cousin’s wedding.

    Pretty soon your characters will be tapping you on the back, trying to get your attention.

    Don’t give in.

    Then they’ll start tossing out little tidbits of plot ideas.

    Stand your ground.

    After a day or so they’ll be BEGGING you to come back to them and giving you more great ideas than your keyboard (or pen) can keep up with.

    Now you’ve got ’em.

    This always worked for me. Of course, since my psychiatrist changed my meds the people in my head don’t talk to me nearly as often. But, whatever.

    What was the question again?

  12. Karin Tabke

    Wow. I wasn’t notified that i had any comments on this blog post and was feeling sorry for myself. but suprise suprise! lot’s of support!

    Now off to read what y’all said!

  13. Karin Tabke

    Edie if i had read this earlier I would have called you! Last night Virna and I skyped for about an hour and things began to gel, then i forced myself to go for a walk with hubby and despite 100+ degrees weather we made some headway, then Jake (thank you!) and I chatted for a while on the phone this afternoon and the pieces began to settle in quite nicely. I think I’m good to go. I think. But be sure if i get stack, again, I will call!

    Lisa, GMC is Goals Motivation and Conflict. I like the thinking i bed idea.

    Margaret, when i walk alone with the iPod cranked, I get sooo many good ideas. I might take a solo stroll later tonight when it cools down to solidify a few danglies.

  14. Karin Tabke

    Beth, I love notebooks! I have dozens. But um, my handwriting is so bad I can never read what I wrote!

    Jake, thanks for the use of your grey matter today.

    Charlotte, i like the idea of writing in the character’s pov and seeing where it goes.

    Bonnie, I think if you visited your friend in Maui the inspiration would be instantaneous!

    Fedora, walking really helps me clear my head and think.

  15. Karin Tabke

    Terry the para train is rolling! It isn’t going to stop any time soon. Readers are demanding it and so are the book sellers. We can thank JK, Stephanie and Charlene for the popularity. Luckily I love the dark and eeriness of paranormals so when we discussed inserting a para element I was happy to do it. The really good part is, I love my hero even more now that he is even badder because of his paranormalness. 🙂

    So, glad you enjoyed MASTER OF SURRENDER! That means a lot to me.

    Jill, one of these days I’m going to crash your and Lee’s coffee breaks.

    Jody, unfortunately I don’t have time to ignore my characters!

  16. Terry Odell

    Karin, I hear you on the paranormal. There’s just so little of it that has worked for me to this point. Which is very strange, since I cut my writing teeth writing Highlander Fanfiction, and got into romance with Gabaldon and Kurland.

    Maybe it’s my strong scientific background, but I have a very narrow window of what para stuff I’ll accept, and then it has to be written well (my subjective definition of ‘well’, of course). I’ll definitely be looking at yours.

  17. LaDonna

    YAY, paranormals are still rockin’! 😎 Love hearing that, Karin. Also, hope those characters have straightened up, and treating you well now. I’ve got the slows too some days, and it ain’t fun!

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