I’m currently in that wonderful, awful, exhilarating, anxiety-ridden phase of choosing a plot for my next novel.
I experience this incredible mix of feelings before every new book I start – can’t decide what I want to write about, nothing excites me, etc, etc.
In the past I’ve tried starting with an interesting character. I have whole lists of characters I love and hate. But for some reason that doesn’t work for me. I do better when I start with an idea or an intriguing question.
But why does it take me so long to find one? Assuming for a moment I’m not just lazy and haven’t lost my passion for writing, what else could cause this perennial problem?
What first excited me about writing Run To Me was the idea for the story: a woman everyone dismissed as crazy saves the life of a child in danger. That was my original premise, my intriguing 'what-if'. That’s what set me on fire creatively and made me want to write the book.
That’s the kind of fire I’m looking for now!
What I want isn’t just a plot that ‘works’ but an idea that keeps me awake at night. Something that makes me jump out of bed in the morning and run to the computer to see what comes next.
Am I demanding too much? Putting too much pressure on my feeble brain? I don’t think so. I believe what I’m after - that fire, that excitement - is worth searching for.
So for now, let’s not call it writers block. Let's just call Writer’s Limbo.