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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.


Introduce someone new.

This is a great way to spice things up. If you are stuck on page 140, which is often where people get stuck, and you are feeling just a bit bored with your characters, why not have someone new appear? In my first mystery, Maggie Dove, I have a romantic interest appear around the halfway point. (Of course, a good thing about being a mystery writer is you can always kill someone off when things slow down. But my mystery takes place in a small town, and I can only kill off so many people.) Going back to Molly, what if she gets a new neighbor? Or what if her mother calls and says she’s coming for a visit? Or what if she finds a stray dog, and when she goes to return it, she finds out the owner is a really nice man. Or a really nice woman, and she realizes she’s not looking for a man at all? In real life, people have a way of popping up unexpectedly. You get an email from someone you haven’t heard from in years. Make use of this unexpectedness in your fiction. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself.

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