I currently have a manuscript out to a publisher called Graves of His Personal Liking. The title is a line from an Alexander Smith quote (it is a working title and I would imagine it will eventually be changed.) I wrote the rough draft for it at the same time I was writing my novel In the Sticks. It was my cure for writers block. If I ran out of ideas for one of the novels or I felt I was forcing my writing—or at times when my writing stunk up the place—I would switch to the other book. It worked because each book was completely different from the other in story and characters–In the Sticks is a modern day murder mystery while Graves of His Personal Liking is a western. It worked well switching back and forth between the two books without confusing characters or story, and it kept the story fresh.
Many times I would be working on one of the stories and a way around the road block I had come to in the other story would suddenly come to me. The identity of the murderer changed three times because of this. I had a woman tell me that she figured out who the murderer was in In The Sticks by the fifth chapter, which was amazing since at that point I wasn’t sure who the murderer was.
Of course when it came time to do the rewrites, I worked on one book at a time until I had finished it, and then moved on to the other novel. I am currently working on another mystery. I started a second novel at the same time, but I have only completed two chapters of the rough draft, while I am three-fourths of the way through the mystery. The story has come easily for me this time. Maybe planning for writer’s block prevents it. I’ll let you know.



About thewritingdeputy

Joel Jurrens was a deputy sheriff for 26 years until he retired in 2013. He has published three novels: In The Sticks, Graves of His Personal Liking and County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald. He tries to keep his blog light and humorous and sometimes downright silly.
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2 Responses to WRITER’S BLOCK

  1. Marja McGraw says:

    I have to give you credit, because if I tried to work on two books at once my characters would begin sounding like each other. Excellent writing on your part.

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