Otherwise known, in my case anyway, as the Chapter Five Crunch. Why Chapter Five? It always seems to happen at this point, in every single book. Creating two characters, bringing them together, getting to know them, giving them 'a believable and sustainable conflict' and then . . . bang, the brick wall.
Why??? Partly, I think, because around Chapter Five is the 'getting to know you' time, and for two characters with deep internal (and a couple of external) conflicts, getting to know each other means talking, spending time together, opening up, beginning to trust, letting emotions out. It's hard and often painful for them, and it's even more painful for the author! Usually, I can keep going, push through writer's block, but with this particular Chapter Five - nope, nada, no way !
I read a great tip on somebody's blog a while back - unfortunately I can't remember whose - but the author's advice was to do something for your writing every day. During those times when you just can't write, do something to keep your work alive during the slump - re-read what you've written already, check out other writing blogs, write your own blog, or simply mull things over, anything, just so long as it is about and for your work in progress. Hence this particular (frustrated!) blog today.
Sometimes, however, the only solution is to step away for a day or so, or for as long as it takes (as long as it's not too long!) to see the way through the woods again. So that's what I'm doing this week - Taking Five!! Back soon - I hope!