It wasn’t so much hitting a wall, rather a slow drift into silence. The voices gradually lost their clarity and what had previously flowed as if by magic became steeped in effort.

For days I didn’t write. Was this the infamous writer’s block?  It felt less a block, rather a  stillness. Time to take a break from my friends; with two thirds of the book written, we need a rest from each other.

Then the past few nights new ideas have pushed their way into my imagination; characters previously sketched out for another novel are now clamouring for attention – shouting to tell their story.

During the past few months I have learnt so much and my approach this time will be different.

I will…

  • Be more patient and considered.
  • Prepare full character profiles before I start writing.
  • Prepare a rough plan of the book, with the highs and low as well as the points of conflict clearly indicated, although allow space for unexpected creative diversions.
  • Try out various POVs before I start to write to see which works best.
  • Sketch out a time-line in order to avoid confusion whilst writing.

100_7616For a few days an emptiness filled my spirit as I bleakly faced the silence. My friends departed – for now, but not forever I’m sure. Then suddenly an excited flutter, a surge of adrenaline as new characters were formed sub-consciously, their strong dialect reverberating in my head. As with the previous novel, I already have the end clear in my mind for this new project. I believe I will get there this time. I also believe the first novel will find its natural completion in due course.

“True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where

creativity and solutions to problems are found.”

Eckhardt Tolle

15 thoughts on “TURNING POINT

  1. There’s this lovely balance that I think you’ve captured. To me, stories are living things that need the right blend of guidance and nurturing, freedom and independence. They arise from inside us, but also outside of us. We are collaborating with something mystical. Loved the gentleness of this post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much. The warmth and kindness of your comment leaves me with tears in my eyes. It was a difficult post to write and I was unsure what the reaction would be to it. You are so right, stories are organic, part of us. Your expression ‘collaborating with something mystical’ is so beautiful and spiritual.

  2. Marion

    Great Annika. I had so much to catch up with as I have been so busy on holiday these last 2 months. Your blog is so interesting and so exciting as usual. Good luck with the new story and I am sure your old friends will soon be back. Looking forward to the two stories and your blog. Kram

    1. I hope you had a lovely holiday Marion. You do know that you should relax on holidays, don’t you! :-)) I know, I’m being cheeky and totally understand. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and thank you for your good luck message. It means a lot to me. Kram

  3. Mike

    Phew, that’s a relief . When I started reading this I was prepared for the worst – not only were you going to stop writing your book, but also your blog. Instead it’s just the opposite – we now have two novels to look forward to and the blog continues. Hooray for that!

    Congratulations on getting through your turning point on a positive note. I don’t suppose you’ll be giving us a few clues as to what your new novel is about?


    1. Oh no Mike, you’re not getting rid of me that easily:-)) Seriously thank you for the ‘hooray’ and I do indeed feel uplifted and positive. Clues out in due course, although there has been a previous brief mention in one of my posts. Bet that has you scouring!

      1. Mirja

        Ahhh…I found it. In “A Break and Biographies” :))
        Got it. Yorkshire dialect. So calm and earthy.
        Sounds exciting already.

    1. Ahh…thank you so much, your comment has me smiling and chuckling. I love this and think you are so right, I can already imagine them interrupting each other in an attempt to be heard first. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say!

  4. I’m glad you didn’t see it as writer’s block, rather a growth opportunity. Like the ‘reaction’ scene that follows ‘action’ in every good novel. Well-explained, Annika.

    1. Thank you Jacqui, after a few days in a small void I feel I have entered a new understanding within myself and my writing, for which I’m very grateful. Keen to get writing again but keeping my bullet points at hand.:-)

  5. Mirja

    Annika, you walk straight into my heart with your open and honest description of how you
    feel about ‘the voices of your friends’ departing. I truly believe they will be back and
    talk again. You have the humility to be true to them.

    Exciting new developments though! Another novel with strong charachters pushing for
    space. Strong dialect…which one I wonder. With a clear ending and very organised
    working discipline it should be “easier”. I know, there will be highs and lows.
    I so wish you joy and success in your new project and and open ear to the other voices
    when they return – as they are wont to do.

    p.s. It took me a while to get past the picture, I just wanted to linger.
    And Eckhardt tolle is right!

    1. Mirja, thank you for your warm and kind words. I hadn’t thought of it like that, being true to my characters, but that is it! I could have tried to force them forward but that felt false and dishonest. The last few months have been a steep learning curve for me and I will put that experience to good use onwards. This was one of the hardest posts to write and it is not in my nature to write so openly from the heart regarding myself but as this blog was about my novel writing experience I did want to share this moment with everyone. Thank you for reading and your supportive comments. The photo by the way is from the beautiful Beth Chatto Gardens, near Colchester. Well worth a visit.

  6. Thank you Peter, that is a beautiful way to put it. I know they will make it into print but the break will be good for us. With that I can re-think without actively rethinking, if you know what I mean. I’m very excited about starting a new project, lovely to have my mind back to buzzing.

  7. Peter R

    Well done, Annika, to have the courage to put your story on the “back burner”. From my limited experience I know that characters can come alive and tell their own story. They can also tell you when it’s time for a break; I guess they can be exhausted too. Good luck with the new story, and I’m sure your old friends will come back when they feel the time is right.

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