....Or you will not move from this place without acetone or surgery or possibly both.
It’s been my problem (metaphorically speaking, so far) with various books. And they -- and I -- might still be in that place had it not been for intervention. For me, at least problem occurs if and when I feel the book is... um... in the toilet.
And many of the same practical solutions apply. For me at least, being stuck is usually a sign that the inner editor is unhappy. He does not see _why_ the characters -- who are well developed individuals with lives and minds of their own would even contemplate going on with this ridiculous charade-of-a-plot. You are stuck there, you total plonker, until you do something about it (and in future make sure you examine the situation before you stick).
The first step is to call for help. If I’m co-authoring that’s easy enough and Eric is good plot structure. I’ve found this is -in my case - my subconscious telling me something is wrong and missing. It’s often (from close up) very hard to see. Wood from the trees stuff, if you know what I mean. You - the author - know what is going on, you know the background, you know where it’s all going. That ‘this is confusing’ and ‘huh?’from another reader have been great at helping to choose the direction to pull free. Sometimes it’s as simple as inserting another point of veiw.
If that fails, or only helps a little by showing the problem but not what to about it: The second step is apply acetone. And the acetone of story writing is stuff called whyo which is gathered by unscrupulous dealers from small children who exude the stuff every time they open their little mouths. If they take too much the children are doomed to become non-reading-square-eyes, but, despite its rather unsavoury origins it is of vast value to me anyway. Because being stuck very often means I have failed to establish sufficient motive for the character to take the actions required for the plot. Asking why (and sometimes hows and whats) the character will take the steps in the direction I want them to go, often means that I need to go back and insert these motivations... and hey presto, I’m free.
But sometimes that doesn’t even work. On a couple of occasions -- and it is usually quite specific -- the way forward is surgery. This can be minor or drastic. But it usually means at a decision point in the story a little earlier, you took your character/s down the wrong path. Cut. Move off down the other tangent. (And this is usually accompanied by a feeling of freedom and relief, as well as considerable pain at losing what could be some good prose.)
The final possibility is just to pull the seat off and move on to get help. Seriously. Just jump ahead to a scene where you are free again. Very often the intermediate bit will resolve itself.
Ok - anyone else got any other suggestions to free the stuck writer? Back off with that dynamite, Bob!
Oh BTW - Amazon is shipping DRAGON'S RING. There is no SuperGlue in it at all.