Writer's Block

Despite a previous update stating that I'd found a way forward with my latest novel, I actually didn't act much on it after that. Months passed. Today I made a breakthrough and wrote about a thousand words. If a novelist can write a thousand words a day for a hundred days, they have a short novel. Or at least a novella. If they can do that for a year, they will have a massive novel.

I'm currently outlining the plot. I read Stephen King's On Writing, where he expresses utter contempt for outlines. For this reason, I tried writing this novel following the seat-of-the-pants method, but it wasn't working for me. I've written several short stories that way, but it isn't necessarily the only way to go about things. Anyway my outlines are not detailed. They are about as loose as it gets. It's easy to move away from the outline if necessary.

I value Stephen King's advice, especially since he has been so commercially successful, but I also think that he is slightly overrated. I find his protagonists unlikeable, which is the main reason I haven't read more of his material. Also, as many people point out, his dialog is anachronistic. His characters speak and think as if it is 1970. He doesn't seem to be able to adapt to contemporary society. Since he is a seat-of-the-pants writer, his plots sometimes wander, and include unnecessary episodes. This is a hallmark of an author who achieves radioactive levels of success. People are afraid to tell him no or that something needs cut.

Most of King's advice is still good. I'm just not going to follow all of it.


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