I Need to Get Out of the Motel Room!

Okay, first off, I don’t mean a literal motel room. Well, I do. But not. Only sort of. Hmm. Maybe I should back up.

There are always those spots, those scenes in a novel that just give writers grief (at least, I’m assuming I am not alone in this). Things will be going along nicely, and then there is just this one spot where everything grinds to a snail’s pace, maybe even a complete halt. Characters kind of stand around, leaning on imaginary shovels, examining their nails, sighing and basically just waiting for the person on the other end of the keyboard to get it together and move on already. And it’s not that the scene or the spot is bad, not that it’s unnecessary. There’s just something about it that slows everything down like time near a black hole.

My last agonizing experience with this was during the writing of my NaNoWriMo book, The Scent of Silver. There was this time frame that actually lasted a couple chapters, in which three of my characters were in a motel room. It was a very important time frame, critical to the plot. But for some reason I struggled with getting through it. I started avoiding writing, shying away from that particular document. I kept running over other scenes in my mind, going on with the story mentally. But when I’d sit down and open that file, I’d tap out two, maybe three sentences at a sitting. A paragraph if I was lucky. When my mom would ask me how close I was to finishing (because this all took place near the end of the book), I’d tell her, “If I could just get out of the motel room, I’d be great! It would only take me another day or so!” But try as I might, I still ground along excruciatingly.

Fortunately, I eventually made it out of the motel room and the writing picked up. I finished off in a few days, just like I thought.

Now, I’m back to working on my book, Rune. And I find myself back in the motel room. Only, not literally this time. But I just can’t seem to get past this specific spot in the book. When my mom asked me how it was going the other day, I said, “It’s like I’m back in the motel room.”

I’m at the edge, now, at the door of the motel room if you will. My hand’s reaching for the door knob. All I have to do is grab it, twist, pull and walk out. And I know I’ll find another motel room somewhere down the road, and I’ll have to work my way out of there, too. But, hey, that’s all part of the beautiful agony of writing.


~ S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on July 3, 2014.

2 Responses to “I Need to Get Out of the Motel Room!”

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