Make a Wish: an IWSG Post

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The awesome co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are

J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken!

Our question for this month:  If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

Just ONE wish? I’d use it to write the scene I’m stuck on right now.

Since it’s emphatically one wish, I might as well use it for the current WIP and the current scene. I could save it, of course, for the next time I get stuck. That would be sensible. But the fact that I will get stuck again is a) beyond dispute and b) impossible to predict. I might hang onto my wish and not need it for years. I might need it next week. No, I’d rather just use it the once, be grateful for the help, and then keep plugging on like I usually do when I’m wish-less.

Since we don’t get our wishes granted (at least, the Shade of Shakespeare has been ignoring my weekly petitions and I sacrificed some GOOD QUALITY sheep to his memory and I consider this VERY RUDE, I’ll be sacrificing to Jane Austen from now on, Sir, and you deserve it ) I’ll go ahead and list what I usually do when a scene is not flowing as well as I could wish:

  • take a break
  • mull it over in the shower
  • work on something else
  • consider my motives in the scene
  • have I tortured my characters enough?
  • maybe I should hurt them more
  • like, are they in enough pain though
  • try again after a short break
  • try again after a longer break
  • consider life, the universe, and everything
  • I mean, really. What is the point of this all?
  • why did I want to be an author, again?
  • maybe I should move to LA and live on the beach like Matthew McConaughey
  • I like the beach
  • everyone likes the beach
  • that’s why the beach is so damn crowded. Maybe not the beach.
  • have a breakthrough just before I go to sleep
  • cuss quietly under my breath as I dig out a pen and my notebook
  • think my muse HATES SLEEP
  • squiggle down what I hope will be readable in the morning
  • try again
  • finally crash through this block

Hope that helps!

beach bum gif



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J.H. Moncrieff

Those are great tips! Thanks so much for sharing.

A hot bath or a long walk do wonders for me, but if I had a beach closer by, I’d totally go.


Such smart advice, S.E. Thanks so much for sharing this with IWSG. I do a lot of your suggestions already. I’m going to add some other ones now. All the best with your writing in progress.

Natalie Aguirree

I hope you get through your current struggles. I sympathize. I was struggling with my chapter and then heard a talk about an author who said there had to be problem in each chapter that gets solved but creates more problems or is not solved and things get worse. That’s helped me for now.


You crack me up. 🙂

Anna from elements of emaginette


When I get supremely stuck when I’m writing, or even at the very beginning when I can’t seem to get out of my head enough to start doing the thing, I use an app called Otter. It’s a voice transcription thing. I can talk through my ideas so I don’t lose them, I don’t self-edit as much. It’s a good unsticking thing for me 🙂


The scene we’re currently stuck on is always the hardest!

Karen Lynn

You’ll probably get better results out of Austen. She was such a nice, sensible novelist. The only thing I’d add to the list is “work on something else” that keeps me in the habit of writing, and lets whatever problem I have simmer.

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