You'll find all kinds of advice columns on what the best way is to do this or that, but really it all comes down to what works for you. There's always something to take away from all those great posts which can help you improve your craft, but again, it's up to you.
When I hit that wall, I turn and move in a different direction. Yep, it's very much like a maze. You know your story's ending is in the middle of that maze, you just have to maneuver your way through, which isn't easy because you've not been in this particular maze before. Yes, I am a pantser.
Sometimes characters will come to me first, sometimes the story. I roughly make notes and outlines that most folks wouldn't be able to decode. So I start at the beginning of my maze and very soon there's a lot of walking, backtracking, cursing, and at some point I hit that wall, use my trusty sledgehammer I keep around for such an occasion and have a whack at it. Sometimes the wall crumbles, sometimes it's fortified with whatever godly substance was used to forge Thor's hammer.
Analogies aside, I get stuck. I spend a few hours just sitting, thinking, and working things out in my head. If it's a no go, then I stop, and move onto something else. That way, by the time I get stuck on something in that story, when I go back to my original story (and I always do), it's fresh and I get a lot more done. A good deal of the time, those little brick walls crumble when my head hits the pillow at night.
My guess is that it's the only time of day where I'm not pushing myself. I'm relaxing because I don't have to do anything but sleep. So of course, that's when my brain starts going over my story, picturing scenes, and dialogue starts flowing. I learned a long time ago to keep a handy little notebook with book light and pen next to where I sleep.
Julius' book is set in 1927, two years after Roses In The Devil's Garden (my LiAW story). I wish I could say that it was a clever little move on my part to include a rose in the title of Julius' book, but apparently my subconscious knows more than I do, because although I knew I wanted to refer to a rose or roses due to the story's theme, I only just noticed the connection when I typed out both titles together for the first time in this post. Yep, that's me all over. Of course, now I know that Danny's book will also have a title with rose in it. A trilogy! Woohay! My WIP list grows.
How about you? Whether you're a writer or not, do you find yourself working on many things at once? Or do you start one thing and work through it until it's done before moving onto the next?
x Charlie x