The Game Of Chess

The manuscript is moving along like a Clydesdale, a big sort of lumbering thing, while I want slick and fast, leopard or cougar like.  It’s the plot that’s to blame.  I’ve got so much sh– to keep up with, and it’s spread out all over.  Sticky notes, strange comments and other thingies in the Outlook notes area, a chapter outline (nothing further than what I’ve written so far) and mess shoved into the back of the ms making  my word count appear richer than it is.

I sure hope I can gather it all up and find what I need, if and when I need it.

What’s making the writing so slow?  I don’t know what to do with this devised plot – exactly.  I’ve been writing and writing, and now I’m hoping I haven’t written myself into some corner.   The opening of the book starts with a double murder, the unlikely offing of two people, for a reason they seem to know nothing about, while the murderer is confident they do.  The reason is discovered by the protagonist, except, she doesn’t know what it means.  Where she discovers it was just one of those times when I was just writing along merrily, and had an epiphany.  “Oh! this is good, she finds this!” and now?  The big question…who put it there, and why?   With the characters I’ve introduced, it can only be…this, this or that person.  I had it planned as one person, originally and wrote most of the story around that person, but after some feedback from “the magician,” it seems less likely that’s the right person.

Now, I’m thinking of the most unlikely character it could be…and that would be a real twist, except…I have to consider the fact – is this particular person really feasible?  And if so, what was the motive behind his actions?  To add to that angst, I’ve been removing words the past two days instead of adding, because of this plot issue.  I could think of the work as a quality vs. quantity thing. Either way, until I can figure it all out, I’ve got to stop writing, which for me at this point is almost like telling myself I’ve got to stop breathing.  I’ve got to stop because if I keep on adding stuff in, just to get to a certain word count for the day, I could end up going back at some point – just like now –  and removing those newly added words in order to “fix” the story – yet again.   This is part of the process, I know.  It’s not unusual to write a bunch of crap only to have to take it out.  But, I’m about midway into the story and I should have this major plot point nailed, shouldn’t I?

All I’m doing by writing blindly is getting underfoot, getting in my own way.  I wish I could close my eyes, see a clear path, but I can’t – not at the moment.  I’m lost in the woods, with several directions I could take to get myself to the end, but I don’t  know which way I should go just yet.  I’ve got to be still and think.  Anything could happen.  There is no right answer.  All my characters are standing in place, and not moving.  It’s like a game of chess with everyone waiting for the next move, except no one knows whose turn it is.

What I really need is a check mate ending, a move no one saw coming, no matter who makes it.

What do you do when your game is at a standstill?








“What do you do when your game is at a standstill?”

I’m probably not much help. I generally start a new story. I do get back to the big, important ones, once my brain figures out what I need to do.
But this is probably not for you.
It’s the reason I have one book published, one book’s first draft finished, and three other books in varying states of completion.
All I do know is that every book is like the first one, you still have to learn how to write THAT book. You’ll get there.


    That is so true…about every book being like the first. This one is especially challenging for multiple reasons b/c I’m using a nice mash up of new approaches, different POV’s, different genre, etc.

    I was Googling about plot problems yesterday and ran across a couple of different articles that were great. And I think I finally realized that the answer as to who and why in relation to the reason for the the murders may not be as important as how my protagonist handles her situation.


Cook with less onions.
Cook something else just to appease your palate. The smell of onions will linger and you’ll know when to go back and add, dilute and stir, trust me you’ll know.


%d bloggers like this: