Still more exercises for middles

1. If you're stuck in the middle of a piece of fiction, try to determine why. Fear of failure? Fear of success? Literary foggi-ness? Wrong direction? Once you've determined the cause, pick a solution from the appropriate section of this chapter and try it. (Really try it.) Ifyou don't know why you're stuck, pick a solution from the section "Techniques to Keep You Writing."

2. Ifyou're habitually stuck, repeat the first exercise following chapter three. Did it help?

3. Ifyou're still stuck, read a biography of a writer who found writing torturous: Joseph Conrad, Jessamyn West, Dorothy Parker. Did this erode your block by showing you that you're in very good company?

4. If you're not stuck in your current piece of fiction, try outlining the rest of the story before you write it. After the story is done, evaluate the usefulness of the outline. Did it increase your confidence, aid the story's clarity, or generate new incidents? Or not?



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