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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.

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Jump ahead.

Recently I was working with a student who was very enthusiastic about a scene that she expected would take place around page 240. The problem was that she was on page 140, and she wasn’t sure how she was going to fill those 100 pages in between. So I said, just write the scene you’re excited about. See what happens. She wrote the out-of-order scene, and buried within it was an idea for something that had to have happened earlier. Suddenly it became clear to her how she was going to fill those 100 pages. Try shaking things up. If you have two characters who’ve been separated, write their big reunion scene. Write the climax. There are a lot of writers out there who do just that. They like to have the ending mapped out. So much of being successful as a writer has to do with finding what works for you. If you’re a person who writes backward, go for it!

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