I sometimes get stuck while writing a story or a novel, and it feels like writer’s block. But what’s really happening is that I’ve moved the story in the wrong direction, and some part of my brain is aware of this.
It’s spooky to admit that the conscious portion of our brain isn’t aware of what’s happening elsewhere in our noggins, but some really freaky experiments back this up. This is why, when the writing is going well, it feels more like reading or discovery than it does writing or creation. It feels as though the story could go no other way than the way we’re writing it. Like it existed before us.
When we get stuck, one way to “find” the right path for the story is to try a few paths. And if they don’t feel right, try something else. Set the last few chapters aside (paste them into a blank document). Resume writing from the last place you felt engaged with the story. Try something else this time.
Ever had the feeling you were forgetting something as you left the house? You walk around, wracking your brain, trying to figure out what it is. Exhausting every option, you decide your intuition is wrong. It isn’t until you’re half an hour away from the house that the missing thing percolates up to the conscious level. This is writing. You know what happens next. The challenge is remembering.