Bump, Bump, Bump

My family is on vacation this week at Massanutten Ski Resort. This morning I took one for the team taking my children on a summer tubing ride. So I buy the tickets and up, up we go. We get to the top of the slope and I bravely climb into the giant inner tube. When I’m ready and give the nod the burly blonde college age guy slings me down the giant funnel…where I squeal like a little girl. Fortunately they were shrieks of delight, not horror. At least until I reached the first real bump. I think it should be mandatory for the ride attendant to mention using those glorious abdominal muscles to keep your behind off of the ground! Let’s just say I’m still recovering from my afternoon of fun. 🙂

But bumps are all part of the experience, even in writing.

You start a new story and everything is going along so well. Your characters are telling you their tale. Your dialogue is almost writing itself. And then BAM! You hit a bump. Sometimes it’s a little bump, other times it’s more like a wall. It might be working out a kink in your plot line or deciding how to add more conflict to your story. Or it might be one of those horrible turning points. You know the ones I’m talking about, a decision point in your story where you can turn right or left. Neither decision is wrong, either direction will lead to a great story, but your writing comes to a screeching halt until you decide which way to go. Or your bumps may come at the end, during your editing process. Or writing the dreaded synopsis or query letter.

What kinds of bumps do you deal with in your writing and how do you overcome them?

9 thoughts on “Bump, Bump, Bump

  1. First of all, that tubing ride looks awesome! I’m so jealous!

    The biggest bumps in my writing tend to be when I start questioning myself, particularly during the first draft process. That’s the point where I need to just push myself forward and get the story out. I can always go back during editing.

  2. I agree with Kerri! The biggest bump for me is when doubt creeps in, which it does with almost no rhyme or reason. It could be after a critical comment, or it could also be after a positive reaction from a beta reader. E

  3. The ride was a lot of fun Kerri! 🙂

    Thanks for checking in ladies. I totally agree with both of you, self doubt always gets me. My bumps usually happen during the editing phase when I start to second guess a twist or turn in the plot or question if my characters’ motivations are strong enough.

  4. I’m going to bookmark this blog topic and study the replies closely because I need help (lol). But I do admit the first draft is when doubt makes my writing crazy, too:).

    And yep, you have my admiration for even attempting that ride!

  5. Fantastic post!! That tube ride sounds like a blast! As for writing bumps, yes those happen to me too. Often it’s some sort of plot problem I have a hard time figuring out before I can move forward. Sometimes they happen 2/3 of the way through the book. I have to push through like a bulldozer and then things get to flowing again.

  6. It was a lot of fun Denny, I just wish the attendants had warned us about those darn bumps! 🙂 Thanks for checking in.

  7. We have a similar course here in Park City, Utah. Fun!
    I wish the writing bumps were. I’ve tossed major characters, reworked plot and started over. Ugh.
    It’s all good. I’m learning, and someday, I’ll slide into the end with a sale and gleeful grin.

  8. Last summer we took my mother-in-law on a pretty gnarly tube ride similar to yours, Dana. Make that my 62 year old MIL. Oh my gosh, she braved it like a champ! Your pic and story bring back scary but ultimately fun memories of myself, hubby, sister in law, her hubby and the three kids just standing at the end of the ride holding our breath that she was going to make it out alive. And sure enough, she came barrelling down out of that tube cracking up the whole way down! The skirt on her swimsuit had flown up and covered her face so it was also a blind ride for her. She took a huge chance that day which is usually what I have to do in my writing whenever I get to a slow spot. Take a risk, maybe write sometthing completely out of my comfort zone. That tends to spark other ideas and if I’ve gotten a little too carried away, I can always go back and fix it once my ideas are flowing strong again. But usually I get some really good stuff that way. Hope you’re having a blast!

  9. I am having a blast Carlene and your story cracked me up! My 66 year old mother-in-law braved the tube ride also. I neglected to mention that. I didn’t want to seem like a wimp. 🙂 Today we canoeed the Shenandoah River. It was a lot of fun.

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