by Beth Shriver
I bet you’ve never used a cat to gage your level of writers block…but I don’t hear anyone opposing the idea so I’ll continue. I don’t know about you but I have three furry friends who keep me company while I write. After a dog bone, a scoop of cat food, and a cup of coffee, the four of us head up stairs to settle in. My old hound dog leads the way only to be passed by my blue eyed Persian, but my street kitty streaks passed them both to get the prime spot by the heater. I’ll be using Ash in this blog simply because he pushes his way in without permission anyway, and he is a good model.
This in an example of writers block, at least it is for me. It’s so far back I can’t possibly think of what to write, but that doesn’t stop me from staring at it, wishing it would suddenly pop out at me with some compelling idea for the scene I’m working on. As I stare at the beast blocking my vision I look around, up and down, to see passed the black and white furry creature that’s keeping me from moving forward with my story, Grace Given.
If I could just get a peek at what the last few lines were maybe I can remember where I was going with this. I move Ash’s tail, and now I see it was something about…an unfriendly neighbor, now I remember. There was an altercation and things were about to get heated between the locals and the new transplants that moved close by. Things are starting to roll now and my Cat Block gets a little smaller. I can see more of the screen and some of the words are visible, prompt words that will tell me where to pick up where I left off.
Good, it’s a little clearer and can I read some of the words. So now I’m typing along and the juices are flowing. The chapter is coming together and the story is moving forward. The bad guys are really ornery and the good guys and taking their licks, but I don’t want it to end that way. There has to be a sliver of hope that can lapse over to the next chapter. If I could see the whole scene I’d be able to figure out how to shake things up to get a good hook that sheds a bit of light for the reader.
There…now I have your attention, and my characters are able to shove that Cat Block clear out of the sky with one meaty sentence. Now I can tie everything up and know where I’m going when I start the next scene tomorrow.
But as I click the save button I hear three words…I’ll be back!
Was that my cat talking?
Beth Shriver received a degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska. She worked as a case worker before starting a family and now lives in Texas. She freelances for local papers, writes columns and devotionals for magazines, and novels in a variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction. Beth followed her passion and now writes full time.