Randall Klein Recommends...

“When I feel genuinely stuck in my writing, I find that it’s often because I’m bored. If I’ve done my pre-writing work, then I have an outline, and because I already know the story I’m going to tell, I’ve stripped myself of one of the greatest joys that comes with reading a novel—to discover the unexpected. So, if I’m in a rut, I’ll go back to the outline and toss in some wrenches. What happens if I remove a character, or add one? What happens if the current chapter four becomes the new chapter one? What happens if I give a character a dog? I don’t need to write all of these new wrinkles out, just thinking about them gets me to reinvest in surprising myself with the story. Or, it reinforces choices I’ve already made and gets me to commit to them, often with a new perspective. Finally, if I do write out something new and it doesn’t benefit the book, I can always go back to the original draft and try a new angle. All of this keeps me engaged, and makes the writing process a breathing thing, rather than transcription.”
—Randall Klein, author of Little Disasters (Viking, 2018)