Stuck with a scene
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Hi all! For most of my writing life, I've been a poet. I have notebooks and computer files full of different types of poems I've written and I've had five of them published in anthologies. Recently, though, I was struck with the inspiration to write a fiction novel, supernatural in genre. The first four chapters came with relative ease. It was like they'd been writing themselves in my head for a long time now, it was so easy. I've had a couple of people who read supernatural fiction read what I have and they say it's really good so far and they can't wait for more. My problem is coming up with more. Right now I'm stuck in the beginning of chapter 5 trying to figure out how to work the next scene, the next chapter. The style I'm writing in tends to get graphic, but not cookie-tossing so, and I have always been a fan of old style "true horror" but I just don't know where to go from here. My three main good guys are vamps and now they need to go hunt and feed well. I want my readers to really understand the slice of sharp teeth into flesh, the rush of blood that a vampire would get when feeding. I want my readers to experience the whole act, from the beginning of the hunt to the final feeding, but I can't seem to coagulate my thoughts enough to actually write what would end up being a lengthy scene. Do you guys have any advice for getting over this current writer's block I'm having?
  • I love the ability to write scenes out of order.  I am working on a YA now and I took the opportunity to write three of the six pivotal chapter right off the bat.  I found that it really gave me a good sense of where things were going.  Now I am sure when I get back to those chapters, to that part of the story, there will be a need for some serious tweeking.
  • This sounds weird, but....Write a poem, and as abstract a poem as you can. If that's the medium you're most comfortable with, then there's no rule that says you can't do it in a novel.

    Beyond that, it may seem trite or easy to respond this way, but just write your way through it. From your post, it seems like you're worried about the overarching "big plot" and how to go from step A to step B. Don't be. Just write--it will come out as you go. If it doesn't, then there's no rule that says you can't write a scene that happens later in the plot now (say the police find the body drained of blood, or the vamps have to dispose of it), then backtrack to how your characters got there.

    Good luck!

  • M
    I also have journals filled with poems but when I sat down to write a story that had been on my mind for months, I felt stuck after only a few pages. I figured I hadn't yet built up the tolerance of writing chapters after having written short poems for so long. The other day, I was just staring at my screen when I decided to copy and paste a few of my poems into my current story (I think I just wanted to see the word count go up). I worked for about an hour changing pronouns and names and creating complete sentences out of lines and wouldn't you know it, I actually had created a beautiful addition to my story. The foundation of my poems gave the story an artistic quality that I don't think I would've been able to create by just writing the story straight through. I don't know if your poems are in the same style as your novel, but it might be a good source for you to go back and look at to find the inspiration to move onto the next scene. Good luck!!
  • The only advice I can give you is to try and describe things from a non-vamp point of view.  Example..biting into the neck and blood gushing… biting into an over ripe peach.  If you have ever bitten into one you can’t control the flow of juice which makes a mess down your checks, on your throat, etc. 

    Be sure, if you aren’t use to writing violence it is going to be a hard project.  If you aren’t comfortable with it it will always sound false.  I am writing a novel that has explicit sexual scenes, without getting into the mindset I could never get a good scene.  Thinking about writing violence or sex is one thing, getting past the inhibition is another.