So, what does a writer do when awaiting approval from a publisher?
I had nearly 60 pages written on Gregor's next adventure when I was asked to rewrite Despite Them. I set the new story aside for a few months to go back and live in Despite Them. It was easy as it was already complete, I just needed to flush out my characters a little more.
Yesterday, I opened the as-yet-untitled next story and read through it. With a memory like mine, it wasn't like revisiting an old friend, it was more like, Hey this is pretty good, but where the hell was I going with this story line?
I have characters in there that apparently were going to be integral to the plot, but damned if I know how. I've reread it several times and am trying to get back into what Gregor was thinking. As with all of my characters, they speak to me, so I just need to start writing again, even if it makes no sense. I trust that he'll (Gregor) guide me to where he wants me to go.
So how does a story line come to me? If my characters aren't guiding me, I tend to read or watch movies to immerse myself into the time period, speech, and scenery. There's always a pad of paper and pen nearby for my epiphanies, then I can steer the plot along until my characters pick it up and run with it.
I never call it a writer's block because to me there's no such thing. Whether it's good or bad, there's always something to write about. It may not be the next paragraph or chapter, but it could be a scene that will morph into a twist or turn, or even a new character.
The process works for me, while other writers might simply see me as daft. Whatever. As long as I get back on track—and I will—I'll just stay the course and wait it out.