Sixteen thousand-plus words into my novel, I stalled out. I combed through the chapters I'd written, tweaked it, and hoped I could recapture the story, get into my character's mind and heart, and get the flow back. I began an update on this blog, hoping the accountability of reporting weekly word counts to an unseen audience would create a spark.
But it wasn't until I met with my Writing Academy critique group at the WA's writers retreat last weekend that the flame flared. I went back to my room and rewrote the end of chapter 6, knowing--finally--where the next chapter would go. As the words flowed, I was once again in 1916 Whiskey Run, inside my protagonist's mind and heart. The excitement was back. I couldn't wait to write again.
Last year, neither of my online critique groups--both fiction critique groups, although we've critiqued nonfiction, too--was active. And it showed. We feed each other. Online critique groups are especially convenient. We exchange one chapter a week and critique at our leisure, in our jammies if we want.
So, if you want to recapture the excitement, stir the muse, and get the words flowing again, join a critique group. If you belong to one, keep it active. You'll be glad you did.
Whiskey Run update:
Last week's word count: 16,301
This week's word count: 16,911
Words written: 610