New year, new book

We writers talk a lot about process. Do we plot every scene beforehand, or do we think up our stories on the fly? Do we write for hours or for word count? Do we edit as we go or power through to a first, and often messy, draft? It seems every writer has a different way to get those words onto the page. But the one thing we almost always agree on, is the importance of maintaining a forward momentum.

Well, I say screw forward momentum. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your story is take a break from it.

For all sorts of reasons, I put down the book I’d been working on, book #3, in September. I’d been working on it for most of 2014, and honestly, the story was going nowhere. My conflict was shaky at best, my main character was getting on my nerves, and I couldn’t see the forest through all the words. Too many words. Enough words to fill two books, and I hated most of them. I was ready to toss my story off the cliff and start again with a clean, blank slate.

And then I stepped away from the story, and guess what. When I picked it back up again, I found all those words weren’t half bad, they’re just in the wrong spots. One little twist to my plot and voila! Conflict. And my annoying main character? Inject her with a little humor and she’s not so whiney after all.

Every story is different. I don’t know why I keep expecting the process for writing it to be the same.


About Kimberly S. Belle

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. She's the author of two novels, THE LAST BREATH and THE ONES WE TRUST (August 2015). She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam. Keep up with Kimberly on Facebook (, Twitter (@KimberlySBelle), or via her website at

Posted on January 2, 2015, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Putting your wip aside can do wonders, I agree. Sometimes I don’t even recognize what I’ve written. It’s as if I’m reading someone else’s book. I found that very helpful.

  2. I’ve taken a month off and now I’m itching to get back into Chapter One. I just hope I won’t need a month off mid-way through! Good luck with the book. 🙂

  3. Taking a break allows the subconscious mind to sort through the jumble of ideas and make sense out of them. Well, at least that’s what I tell myself. It’s better than crying in my soup bowl. 🙂

  4. Good for you! You’re right. We all approach the craft differently, and you had every right to make that call for yourself. I’m glad it gave you the boost (and regained momentum) you needed!

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