Whether you’re a pantster or a plotter, sometimes things just don’t go the way you expected. Sometimes you’re writing and you come to a point where you don’t know what to do next.

Step away and do something dull – Wash dishes, weed the garden, paint a wall do something that doesn’t require your creative brain. You may find that the solution you’ve been looking for pops into your head without warning. Drop everything and start writing. Don’t lose the moment.

Continue writing through it and trust the process – Just write and don’t worry about where the story is going for the moment. You may find that your new plot is better or that it leads you to the answer you’re looking for.

Skip ahead –Skip the scene or chapter and move ahead in the story. There’s no rule that says your story has to be written in order. You may find that the gaps are easier to fill in once you’ve managed the future.

Explore a different perspective – Brainstorm potential solutions, even if they seem ridiculous and write from those various possibilities. For example, your hero is supposed to rescue your heroine but it’s not working for you. What if someone else rescues your heroine or what if she isn’t rescued or perhaps she clobbers the villain and rescues herself. Write from the various possibilities and it will lead you to the best solution.

Grab a pencil and paper – Sometimes simply changing your writing process helps. If you normally type on your laptop, try continuing your story in a notebook while sitting on your back porch. Change your scenery and your tools.

Bottom line…don’t give up hope. Road blocks and speed bumps are part of the writing process. Expect them, trust yourself and your writing abilities, and find ways to work through the challenge. Your writing skills and your story will be stronger because of it.

–Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/rstanek/