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Thread: Writer's block

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    mid atlantic states, swamp , u.s.
    I am in agreement. All good advice. Personally, I find that starting another project is best. Just continue writing and there is no block. Sometimes a new avenue can intersect with the blocked project. Other times, you return to a project with fresh eyes. In any case way, don't stop writing.

  2. #12
    Junior Member Tim Chamberlain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    United Kingdom
    I agree with the wine analogy, i.e. - setting it aside for a while. I do this with all my writing - things that I'm stuck on and things that I've completed. I always leave a breathing space before I go back to check/edit/re-write. When I'm in the process of writing I'm often too absorbed by the subject/substance of what I'm writing which means I can't actually see the wood for the trees (even though I might think I can). It's amazing how different a piece of writing can seem once we've tuned out from it sufficiently and then come back to look at it afresh.

    Keeping on writing is good advice too, if it's moving onto something completely unconnected or new. It has the same effect as the breathing space, i.e. - it helps you tune out of the piece you are struggling with or which you've just completed.

    As for method - personally I don't favour a single approach. Some pieces I have an initial idea for I'll plot out before I begin, some I'll just start writing and see where they go (the plotting then will fall into place as I write and I'll just follow it's lead). I like to play with language as much as plot, so simply the act of writing helps me avoid the block - I have found in that past that it's easy to get hung up on the idea that this is the "magnum opus" and so it must be perfect, and fussed over it till I've got myself stuck in a rut.

    I use a notebook like an artist might use a sketchbook - doodling away on any old subject: fiction, dialogue, description, reportage, inventing new words, writing nonsense limericks, etc - just to keep the pen and the mind active and actively engaged in the mere process of writing. It's interesting what I've then gone back to in these notebooks and incorporated in other works. Nothing in the act of writing is necessarily a waste of time, in my opinion.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Southern Georgia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jena Grace View Post
    Some people plot. Others fly by the seat of their pants. I'm of the second variety. I don't know how the story's going to end till I write that last chapter.
    I usually know how it's going to end long before I know how it begins. LOL

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Central Virginia
    I don't usually start writing without an ending in my mind. The subsequent ending isn't always the one I had in my mind, though.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Kyle Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I like to just write and see what transpires. Of course, I have a general idea and vision in my head from the get-go.

  6. #16
    I think writers' block is your friend. It tells you that you've taken a wrong turn and saves you fromwriting reams if pointless crap. It's no big deal. I journal my way out if it.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Nothing in that fill-in-the-blanks post fits my novel but I'm writing it anyway. I promised myself no how-to-write books during the first draft, only Strunk and White. False starts are very personal. I have written a lot of junk.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurence at YouCanWriteANovel.com View Post
    Here's a solution that's guaranteed to get your creativity working. And you can do it in a few easy steps. Ready?

    First, set aside what you're working on and go back in your mind to the original inspiration of your novel. Forget about the last chapter you wrote; focus instead on the bigger concepts of your novel. Remember the first thing that inspired you.

    Got it? Good. Now, in your notebook, answer these six questions:

    1) WHO is my story about? (Really? Sometimes we get ourselves confused.)

    2) What does that character WANT? It needs to be something specific that we can visualize him or her achieving.

    3) WHY does the character want it? The more primal and universal the reason, the better.

    4) What does the character DO about it? What direct action does he or she take?

    5) What stands in the WAY of the character achieving that goal? How do these obstacles force the character to change plans?

    6) How does it get RESOLVED in the end? Does the character achieve the goal? Or fail? Or realize that he or she was chasing the wrong goal all along?

    Answering these questions will give you a bare-bones plan for writing the rest of your novel. If that doesn't get you unblocked, spend time brainstorming more obstacles for the hero to overcome. That'll get the story rolling again.

    So, in a nutshell, your novel is about a CHARACTER who has a GOAL/PROBLEM for a vital REASON. He or she DOES SOMETHING about it, but RUNS INTO TROUBLE. Finally, THINGS GET RESOLVED at the end.

    That's it. Everything else is just fancying up that one basic paragraph. See, isn't that easy? Here's a quick cheat sheet. Just fill in the blanks:

    My main character is __________. He/She needs to __________, because __________. So the character does __________. But __________ stands in the way. At the end, __________.

    Best of luck to you!
    This is a great way to keep a story on track. I've been trying my hand at writing short fiction pieces and this is really helpful. Thanks

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