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12 key steps for getting unstuck as a writer

Trapped in the middle of your manuscript? Here’s how to move forward.


When all else fails, try to remember why you started to write this in the first place.

What drew you to the story? Did you want to write about growing up on Long Island, or what it’s like to serve in the war? But maybe you got side-tracked. You began writing about the teacher who was always mean to you, and the story has evolved into an empty revenge story. Try and tap back into that original energy. What is it that you want to say? Try to recapture the feelings that made you want to write in the first place.

You can do this!

Now, please excuse me while I go off to write a story about Molly.


Susan Breen teaches novel writing for Gotham Writers Workshop. Her Maggie Dove mystery series is published by Alibi/Random House. She can be reached at

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