Of Bugs and Barriers

Warmer weather always finds me outdoors more, whether I’m taking long aerobic walks through the neighborhood or relaxing in a lounge chair while reading a good book. But warmer temperatures mean mosquitoes and bees. No matter how hard I try, no matter how many barriers I use against them, one or more of those buzzing creatures always finds me each late-spring or summer season.

Speaking of bugs and barriers, they also affect every author’s career. I’m not referring to the flying and/or stinging variety of winged being. Or the sprays, candles and foggers used by many to prevent them. No matter how carefully we writers plan our storylines, “bugs” find their way into our manuscripts during those rough-draft phases. More often than not, it’s during those times the mind erects mental barriers to solving plotting problems, two-dimensional characters, bland setting details, so-so prose, conflict and goals that don’t engage readers, and pithy dialogue.

Each time I’m faced with bugs and barriers my approach to solving the problem(s) varies slightly. Spring housecleaning is one of the best methods I’ve found to eradicate manuscript “bugs” and blast through creative barriers. Simply doing something that employs my left brain and logic, and gives the creative right brain time to rest and ponder a story’s snarls, carries me through. For those who would rather seek a more pleasurable activity, I’m a firm believer in the effectiveness of a home spa experience. Soaking in a garden tub filled with chocolate-scented bubbles frees my mind and lets me relax. While I’ve basked in those aromatherapeutic moments, and before I’ve thought of reaching for a plush terry bath towel, I’ve often reached over the side of the tub, grabbed my pen and notebook, and jotted the necessary story details not available earlier. Bugs and barriers be gone! If actively focusing on ridding a story and my skull of your presence doesn’t work, I’ll employ other tactics and turn you away. Exercise and pampering sessions serve as my figurative epi pens and battering rams.

Wishing you all many happy reading moments,

Shawna Moore
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED -- Coming soon to Ellora's Cave
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Helle's Myspace


Vonda Sinclair said...

I wish I was more like you, Shawna, wanting to clean when the words don't flow. At least my house would be clean, right? LOL But I find I need to read more books and this unsticks my muse.

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Vonda!

Reading serves so many wonderful purposes in our lives, doesn't it? :) I'm glad my mother and father always encouraged my love of reading and read me bedtime stories during my childhood :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Happy week wishes,


Tess said...

Ha! Glad I'm not the only one with "bugs" in my writing!! I used to always play "Bomberman" on my computer when I ran into problems, but then my computer crashed? Coincidence? Hmmm .. . I'm not sure! ha.

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Tess!

I've heard from several other authors who break the creative blocks and work out the bugs in their projects by playing computer games. You've piqued my interest to check out the games available on my system :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Happy weekend wishes,