My Writer's Block Writing Cycle

Writing Update: I finished my epic fantasy revision, and after a reread of a section I had to rewrite, I’m packing it up for submission, hopefully by Friday. When it is off and I can forget about it, I’ll return my efforts to finishing the Cinderella story. I think my new job is going to be good for my writing output because I’m not so frustrated all the time.


I’ve mentioned briefly how I tend to have stories in a rotation. I call it my Writer’s Block Story Rotation. In order to maintain a reasonably prolific pace (and I admit that this has been a horrible year for my writing output), I like to cycle a short work with a long work.

When I was writing The Sevenfold Spell, it was a short story that I wrote in tandem with and just after my spy fantasy. The Sevenfold Spell was written during a bit of a novel drought for me, during which time I wrote several short stories, and started three novels while abandoning one. So what I was left with was four short stories–including The Sevenfold Spell— and two solid starts to promising novels. (In case you’re curious, one of those short stories has been under submission for 8 months, one I submitted to a bunch of places, and the other needs some finishing touches but it’s kind of my last priority now. It almost fits in my fairy tale theme because it’s based on a Native American Legend, but it’s not nearly long enough.)

I’ve also done this with a single work, which I think would be a better idea if I can discipline myself into the habit. When I was working on my spy fantasy, I got stuck in the middle, but I kept having this scene that bugged me, and which took place toward the end.  I called it The Kiss Scene that Would Not Die. So, I wrote it way before I needed it. Once it was out of the way, I found that I could go back and write the rest of the novel in sequence.

I’ve also done this with my current novel, my time travel historical. The novel has two parts, one during a road trip and the other at the destination. When I got stuck in the road trip part, I jump ahead to the destination, and I’ve pretty much been writing both parts in tandem. I guess my mind just doesn’t think sequentially. But even that has been set aside most of the time, while I try to finish my second fairy tale.

It may sound chaotic, but I almost always finish everything I write, unless I decide that the story is just not viable, or I lose the spark for the characters. You’ve got to have that love, I think. It sees you through until you write “the end”.

In other words, when I abandon a work, it is always a conscious decision, not just unresolved writer’s block.

Does anything else do this? (If you’re looking for the comment link, scroll to the top of the post.)

5 Thoughts to “My Writer's Block Writing Cycle”

  1. Chicory

    Congratulations on having another story out there. 🙂

    Boy, I thought I was the only one who cycled through stories! My thing is bouncing back and forth between young adult fantasies and humorous mid-grade books. When I get burned out on suspense I hop into the humor, and vice-versa. I try to write my stories in chronological order -key word being try. My rough drafts tend to be a lot of disjointed scenes, with me standing in the middle going `it all connects, honest!’

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Your rough drafts sounds like the state of my Cinderella story!

      Alas, this is not a new story for me, but a revision of a novel I wrote quite a while ago, but which I can’t seem to give up upon.

  2. Congrats on another story done 🙂

    It never ceases to amaze me at all the different ways authors get the words on the page. And I say that knowing that my process is different each time, LOL. I do like your idea of alternating shorter works with novel length, though, I don’t think I could work on two pieces at the same time.

    BTW, you’ve been tagged! 😉 See my blog for details. Playing is optional, of course, don’t feel obligated.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Ooh, I haven’t been tagged in years! I’ll head over there as soon as I reply.

      The thing is, I don’t work on two at the same time. I can’t do that either. But I do have more than one thing going at the same time. Does that make sense? Probably not!

  3. Well, I do bounce back and forth between stories a lot. I don’t finish everything, tho. I’ve dropped many stories partway thru simply because I got distracted by a more engaging story. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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