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Is anyone else suffering from Writer's Block? I can't get past it. Here I am, plowing away at this story that I am really enjoying, and feeling great about it then *SMACK*, I can't think of anything. I've tried everything I can to get past it, but I can't. I don't know what to do, does anyone have any advice?
What usually helps me is to talk to my husband about what I'm writing. I don't know why b/c I don't end up using any of his ideas, suggestions, etc, but it gets me past the "I don't know what to do" b/c we're just talking and not "working" on it. Does that make sense.
And, sometimes it does help to just take a break. Lately what I have trouble w/ is finding time to actually do anything. lol
I do something relaxing or monotonous and let my mind wander around the story or the characters. I always start a new scene worth hopping out of the bathtub for.
Things like vacuuming, water plants, walking the dogs, etc. help me.
Things that get me moving and get the blood flowing, but don't
take too much energy or attention to detail.
I am also suffering from writer's block. It mostly has to do with my illness at the present time, I just cannot seem to keep focused.
I have cancer, and I am a mom to a 6 year old boy...it is really hard to stay on task and keep on writing every day. I do not want to get out of the swing of things, because when I write again full time...it is so hard to get outta my lazy routine!
I used to be worried about this problem. Then I realized that I didn't have to write within a certain amt of time. I thought I was a slacker when i was really getting other things done. I went for about two or three weeks of not working on it. I then returned to the work and simply typed one sentence, and went from there. I was stumped over how to express a intimate scene that was required, without it sounding either pornographic or just immature. Finally I worked through it and made the scene my own version that felt comfortable.
I'd like to ask a few questions about your story. I assume it it fiction. How many characters have point of view? Do you have more than one plot going or do you have a subplot?
I decided to write several different point of views I can do that because I am using third person omni. Basically you can show what anyone is doing or saying or thinking, yet even that has rules. Also that could be overdone.
A tip my writing instructor gave me was to make a rough outline of how you want the story to turn out. It doesnt have to end up that way but if your having difficulties keeping up with characters then it might help. Since mine is a series with some shorts planned I do the outline to help me keep up with what Ive already done.
Something one of my college professors once told me was to start "In Medias Res." Latin for "In the middle of things." Work on some scene ideas, climactic areas, and build the world AROUND it. It really does help to sculpt the story and help you lay out groundwork.
Write a story about a guy with constipation and bad gas who goes at in the middle of the night to get ex-lax at a mini-mart. Use the writer's block frustrations as metaphor. Need not finish, just try to get things flowing.
As Barbara suggested.
Okay. I will get you started. Stream of conscious.
I had gas that would not pass. It was late so I thought I might just sit on the toilet to wait. After on hour on the pot, a half hour after my leg went numb, I put down manga Bleach nine, pulled up my pants, put on my Gene jacket, which always reminds me I need to return it to him, headed out to the five-and-dime, or more precisely "Kim Sung's Illustrious Mini-Market" on the corner of Lee and Grant. In hindsight, I should have recognized this was a sign of civil problems but as it was I launched out on foot with my dog Sumter expecting quick victory over my reluctant bowels. Still within sight of my flat, I was in full childhood chant, also well in sight of flat, something to the effect, "smooth move Ex Lax, yes, dum dum tee dum it can be the sh** out of Superman."
All the writer's block stuff. Block. The wait. Need for distraction that is intended to help relieve the block but something else happens. A play on words.
Last Edited on: 9/15/07 10:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
I keep a composition book on hand (lots of them actually) and when I get stuck I sit down and write some journal entries in the character's voice. Sometimes I will write several entries, one or more from one or more characters. This usually gets the juices flowing again and it allows me to get to know the characters more deeply.
Just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Nicole and I signed up to the site a few days ago and am quite excited to find such wonderful resources on so many different levels. The more I browse the site, the more surprises I find including this forum for writers! I just self-published a Christian Inspirational entitled Many Gifts. Please see it at charmainpublishing.com . I'm now working on a second Christian book, however unlike my first, this is a fiction book. I'm just now trying to get the first draft done in the next few months. So many crazy things going on that it's been interfering with my ability to concentrate. I also do freelance writing for a local paper and on occasion write newsletters for a state-wide literacy council as well as another organization where they 'build simple decent homes'.
So, what's the cure? Especially when you mind keeps wandering to different far off places? I've been trying to get a meditation regime going. Any suggestions would be helpful!
Don't worry, man. I've been writing for eleven years, and there have been HUNDREDS of times that I've stared down the white bull...and the white bull one. Sometimes the muse just doesn't want to cooperate. You just have to take a step back for a bit. Relax, do something else. The moment that you STOP thinking about what it is that you are wanting to DO, THAT is when the idea will hit you. Go take a relaxing bath, put on a stress mux mask, read a good book, work on some photo artwork on photoshop or painshop online (yeah I know, sounds odd, but TRY IT,) play a game of cards, fix a smack and sit and relax, play with the dogs in the back yard, or even go steal tea time and power kip, and before you know it, it will have hit you...possibly even an idea from something you have DONE in that time fram that you were resting and trying to get over the writers block. It's happened to me before. ;)
I recently read a book called Weinberg on Writing. Gerry Weinberg is an author who's written 40+ (mostly non-fiction) books, some with an emphasis on software. He also runs a writer's workshop. Weinberg recommends something called the fieldstone method. The core idea is that ideas come to us all the time. You should collect these little idea nuggets, or "stones," by always ensuring you write them down immediately (keep note cards or a small journal or blackberry handy).
Then it's a matter of building your writing work around those stones that fit.
Sometimes a stone will fit into place, other times it won't. That's ok. If you build up enough interesting stones, there's always something to write; if no stone is working for you, then you go do something else for a while.
In contrast, writing from start to finish will inevitably lead you to writer's block, when you get to a section that you're not yet sure how to deal with.
I'm sure this technique isn't for everyone, but I found it fairly close to what I'd already been doing with some success. The only time I get writer's block is when I force myself into a very specific, narrow section of work to finish.
Would it work on fiction? It might mean a little more rework, but otherwise I don't think there's any reason it wouldn't.
As far as building an outline, I remember Stephen King suggesting that the best thing to do is build good characters in your story, and then let the characters decide where things should go. Perhaps instead of an outline, you keep a set of profiles on your characters, what their motivations are, and so on.
I agree with the idea about talking to someone out the problem, make sure it is someone that does not think the same way you do. Have it so if they were in that situation what would they do with the story, the more you know how it is NOT going to be, the more you will know what to write about..
I find scrubbing the kitchen floor a great way to get over any blocks I might be having. I also talk to my hubby about things to see if they make sense or seem plausible.
Well, I read in a book or something that to get over writers block you free write, but don't use anypunctuation or anything jsut write whatever comes to mind and don't erase anything. I havn't tried this yet, so I dont' know if it works or not. I keep a journal though and I just write whatevers on my mind when I get writers block. It helps me feel relieved.
Or tea....if you get this certian tea it cures writers block....it's good tea, too.
Hope I helped!
Here's what I do. Every morning I take a shower, like most people, and my brain is still new and awake for the day. That's when to think about what you are writing. Not about housework, the husband or the kids--just your story. This is when I come up with my best ideas, outcomes, writer's block and so on. Like an idiot I find myself grinning in there and talking to myself wondering why I didn't think of that sooner. It really does work.
I just got a book called "The Write-Brain Workbook" that has 366 writing exercises (the theory is that you do one a day, but that's just a theory). On the back of the book it says "Never Face a Blank Page Again." It gives prompts each day and the pages are all decorated so you don't have to be confronted by that sometimes scary blank page.
Another suggestion that I've had given to me is to take out a can of soup and write about it. Believe me, after about a half page of writing about Campbell's Cream of Mushroom you'll be more than ready to write about something else.
When I get writers block a lot of the time it's because I don't have a specific idea of where I want to go right then. If I get stuck sometimes I need to go back through my outline (I keep quite general outlines when I write) and see if there's something that I planned to do later and see if I can pull it forward. If not I may write the later scene anyway and just keep it around until I need it.
Also, the shower idea is a great one. No better place to think than the shower.