I recently came across this whilst writing my second book for Walk Through Hell. I had written a scenario where my main character does something within the power he was given but he can not undo it.
Now the power itself is on God level so something more powerful than God himself must have turned it off, right? Except we’re in a domain where God created it and rules everything. So huh, right?
Here are a few tactics I’ve found, come up with and used to get past the damn wall and reach my minimum word count for that day!
1. “All of a sudden, a man with a gun charges in!”
Depending on the context of the story, maybe change the “man” to something else or the “gun” with something else. It’s not that you should actually write this into your story, it’s to regain the feeling that you can write around the wall. Maybe one of the ideas you come up with can fit into your story at the end. For a further example, this is how I changed that quote to help with my story:
“All of a sudden, Satan charged in with Hellfire and Demons!”
2. Start the ending and work backwards!
Sometimes, it’s better to let the story itself tell you how to get past the wall. Leave the wall up, run to the finish line and see how the dots connect. Don’t worry about the damage, you’ve written something and it will get you one step further to your goal.
3. It’s your world. Can you break the established laws of logic?
MC’s took on an island? Boom, he can fly. MC’s suddenly surrounded by thousands of troopers? Oh, what do you know, he’s suddenly ducking and weaving every shot. Sometimes, a big problem can serve a big solution. It IS your world. Maybe for that one time your character has laser eyes, the power was bestowed upon them by the 5 Elders of the Forgotten Lamp Post because the MC simply can’t die 5 chapters in. Maybe that time the MC got shot, the only way they survived is because there was loose change right where they were hit with the bullet and it bounced off. Get a bit crazy and if it still doesn’t work? Go back in the second draft and replace it with something a bit more feasible. Just keep writing forward!
4. Perform a writing sprint.
This helped me with that particular problem at the start of the post. I forced myself to write at extreme speeds, ignoring my conscious voice and letting my unconscious voice pave the way forward. I was surprised that a simple reason that my brain had cooked up for this particular problem could actually work and move the story forward. I know that when the time comes to address that problem, I’ll have a better answer to explain it as my story develops further.
5. Start writing a novel plan.
One of my favourite quotes is as follows. “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. Benjamin Franklin was said to have said that, so did Churchill. But it is true. With an established structure and key points in the plot, writing towards those guidelines means the chances of avoiding a pitfall is minimal. You know how what happens, you know how it resolves and you know it ends, you’re basically writing filler and the short walk to each key point. If you’re already doing it, good, you’re a better writer than me. If you’re in my boat, let’s start the next novel with the odds in our favour. Agreed? Good.
6. Write another book.
There are times where you’ve got to shelve a book and focus on something else. I, myself, was very close to shelving this book, A Walk Through Hell: Lust, and starting a new series. For many reasons, the main one wasn’t because of the wall but because my writing skill had improved and the current series had to stay at the level I started to be consistent. I’m committed to finishing this book and the next book but if you find yourself in dire straits, your efforts might be better spent in a new series or novel.
7. Fill up on life for a few days
Writers are likes fires. They go out sometimes so they need to be relit. Walk away from your PC, laptop, Mac, typewriter or tablet and go do something else. Go see if you can walk to the most beautiful place you can find and narrate how you’d describe the scenery, go find an old weapons shop and study how the swords and shields look, go to a forest and imagine your creatures frolicking within the landscape. By studying more of our world, we can enhance the world of our characters. That’s your duty as their God.