Struggling with a paragraph



I’m having a particularly hard time with a paragraph in my story right now. I’m not entirely sure on if posting paragraphs is allowed, please let me know and I’ll paste it on in here -

But until then, what helps when you find yourself stuck writing and just can’t seem to make a paragraph make sense or just ‘work’ for you? Maybe you can’t think of the right words or you’re stuck on the flow and sentence structure?


If it’s a work in progress, I move on to keep myself from being caught up over minor details that can be corrected later.


You’re fine to post paragraphs and excerpts. :wink:

I hate it when this happens to me. Sometimes, I’m just going back and forth between how it’s worded and then I just take a break to sleep on it.

But I have found a new method which allows me to not get stuck as much and this is where I use a timer. I time myself (specifically ten minutes) to write a struggling scene so I can get the words out. In this time-frame, I don’t care about how I word things or what I write because in that window of time, I’m focused on vomiting words out. Once the timer is off, I’ll go back and reread it… out loud. So I could see if it makes sense or how good it seems.

In the end, I still come to the same conclusion: I push through it until the first draft is finished. Because if I get stuck on making something sound “perfect” or whatnot, I might never get the story written and finished.


With what are you having trouble, exactly? The grammar? Its importance to the story? Just how well it reads?

I’m happy to do specific feedback or whatever (reading it) for free tbh if you’re comfortable showing it as a WIP


While I’m sure there’s some sort of grammar catastrophe in here somewhere, I’m mostly trying to figure out why it’s… A mess? I’ve rewritten this a few times and I can never get it to not feel like a ball of tangled Christmas lights. I want to evoke this feeling of awe in the mundane. He’s seeing this world like an alien landscape but to do that, with an ordinary setting, I end up using too many big romanticising comparisons and I just feel like I have my fingers in a Chinese torture trap.

“As he walked the fringe of the city, Percy was soon encompassed in a frenzy of tight bundled figures hurrying this way and that. An eerie aura settled in over the cobblestone landscape, noise muffled by the slow-growing padding of snow. Steam made visible by the cold billowed up in plumes all around him, a soft white haze obscured moving figures in the distance, and the wind rattled signs, groaning as it whistled around the tiling of rooftops, hugging the shapes of the buildings. His eyes were drawn up towards the heights of towering mechanical contraption. The great, big machines, salt and garbage trucks, scaffolding and cranes towering around him like almighty titans. The city seemed so otherworldly, alight with the distant sounds of sirens and of ghostly chatter. He felt at once he’d been transported to a mythical land beyond anything in his wildest imagination.”


Sometimes a paragraph or the start of a chapter will throw me, but a useful method of making progress can be to just skip it and come back. I also find that it helps to give it some time to stew if you’ve managed to write something but aren’t satisfied with it. Sentences that looked fine to me the night before can look clunky in the morning, and I find I can usually figure out how to make them more streamlined.


Is it an important part to the story?

If not, you can always just do a “filler” paragraph and edit it later. You shouldn’t let it hinder your progress. Most people don’t get it right on the first try. It’s normal. :slight_smile:


Regarding grammar, just a couple of run on sentences.

I do get a sense of awe; I felt feelings reading this, but I struggle with this feeling a lot and I would personally read it and pull out anything you find “clunky” and try to find a more “elegant way to say it”. For example, “slow-growing padding of snow” seemed clunky to me, so it could be something else like “gradually rising carpet of snow” or anything else like that.

I also didn’t understand that you meant salt trucks and garbage trucks at first, but there are no salt trucks where I live, so it could be a lack of contextual knowledge.

Also in “His eyes were drawn up toward the heights of towering mechanical contraption” either make contraption plural or add an article before the word towering (e.g. a, the, one).

I can’t personally find any other parts that didn’t “sound right” to me but you’re the writer so just pull out parts and fix them until you like them, I guess. That being said, reading it too much can make you devoid of all emotions toward the paragraph so be aware of overanalysing.

Hope this helps?^^