Writing Yourself Into a Corner

There is a house by my husband’s childhood home that is completely round. It intrigues me, this house does. What does it look like inside? Is it broken up into rooms? And do the rooms have corners? We often joke that if you lived in that house you couldn’t put your children in the corner for being naughty.

I wish my stories lived in round houses because then I couldn’t write myself into a corner. Right now I’m stuck on my current work-in-progess. Stuck, stuck, stuck. Like those remote control cars that ram into a corner and keep backing up only to ram into it again. That’s me, banging my head against the corner over and over again, too stupid to realize the corner isn’t going to move, rather I’m going to have to move.

This happens to me, oh, at least half a dozen times while writing a book. Usually I can figure out right away where I went wrong, back up, hit the delete key and try again. But sometimes, like now, I can’t figure it out and it’s darn frustrating. Because I feel like I’m wasting valuable writing time. Yet I’m not really wasting valuable writing time because I’m constantly thinking of where I went wrong and what I need to do to fix it. I have to remind myself to take a step back and just think. Thinking is writing and it’s much better than throwing words on paper hoping something will stick. Now that’s wasting time.

So for the past few days I haven’t written one word on my story. I’m letting it sit, letting the characters talk to me and simply thinking.

What do you do when you write yourself into a corner?

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