Friday, January 26, 2007

Writer's Block

This week I have been experiencing a severe case of "writer's block." I am working on a new book with a very good friend of mine. While I don't want to divulge the details of this book, I can say that it is going to be a work of creative nonfiction telling the story of a shocking crime that happened in a small town some 70 years ago. We've got a great story to tell. It has many twists and turns and one surprising fact after another. We also have an outline--a basic structure for the book.

The problem is where and how to begin. The beginning has to be something gripping enough to peak the reader's interest without giving too much away! It's a bit tricky. When I write an article I usually know exactly how I am going to start (able to identify the "hook") and often know how I will wrap it up. And even with my other books I didn't have a problem with the introductions. But this project is different and is taking me back to my days of studying creative nonfiction in graduate school. It is the most challenging project I have taken on in a long time. I am both excited and nervous about it.

My co-author and I have discussed this problem and he's stumped too. But we hope that as we just start to write hopefully the beginning or "hook" will become obvious to us.

I guess the first step is to recognize the writer's block. The next step is to find a small way to chisel through it. I've read all the "tips" in the writer's magazines and hope to try to implement some of them.

For now, I plan to "sleep on it." Perhaps some inspiration will come to me while my mind is at rest.

2 comments:

Randy Seaver said...

Lisa,

You mean "It was a dark and stormy night..." doesn't work in this case?

Good luck with your writer's block - I'm sure you will find a great hook.

Cheers -- Randy

Lisa A. Alzo said...

Randy,

Funny you mention that. My co-author has actually joked that he wanted to begin with "It was a dark and stormy night." But, I told him it wouldn't exactly be accurate. Yes, it was "dark" but not really that "stormy"! So, I guess we'll keep working on it!

Best,

Lisa