How to overcome writer’s block
As I know many Vandal readers are writers, I know they will understand when I say that there are times when the words just get stuck. Some call it writer’s block, but it’s only a moment in a story when your ideas dry up or you feel that the story is drifting.
While there is a vast depository of information and ideas on this topic, I didn’t think it should dissuade me from offering my helpful little tips.
When these wordless moments hit me, I resort to some of the following tactics to help me get going again. They usually work.
Make a sudden noise.
A loud explosion, a door slamming or something smashing against a wall just near the protagonist’s head. This one always gets me underway again and at the same time adds a nice element of surprise in the story.
What would my character just hate to happen right now?
An email from an angry ex-spouse or a demand for payment from the bailiff. The onset of a nasty head cold just before the wedding day. A secret affair is not a secret anymore. What about choking on a fish bone in the middle of a romantic dinner for two?
Open a door or drawer.
This in an oldie but a goodie. You just never know what you’ll find hiding in there.
Leave it hanging.
This usually means extensive use of the delete key. Go back a few paragraphs and just stop the chapter as something is about to happen. ‘She opened the drawer and couldn’t believe here eyes.’ Stop it there and start a new chapter about her next door neighbour’s gay son.
Trip over something.
Another oldie, but it never fails. Just get your character moving and ‘kerplonk’! Break a leg, arm or even better open a gaping wound and let the blood flow freely.
Start an argument.
This is a brilliant way to get the dialogue going and moving the story along at a pace. Lots of screaming and yelling, expletives and throwing of coffee mugs.
So what are your favourite writing prompts to overcome writer’s block and get you writing again?
6 thoughts on “Overcome Writer’s Block – The Joy Of Writing”
I usually find closing down my laptop and going out into the garden (weather permitting) does the trick. Failing that, making another cup of coffee, or grabbing a beer…
Once Dylan Thomas said that if he saw a bird while writing a poem, he’d put the bird in it. In short, anything that catches his eye went to the poem. I think that works. Gives you shocking contrasts that do stir your imagination. I think listening good music does the same :)
The keynote speaker at a conference said, if you want to make the middle of your book sing…kill somebody. Works for me!
What I like to do is take events from the news, give them a bit of a twist, and add them to the story. I can always take it out later if it doesn’t works, and it least it gets me over that slump. My latest book I decided to put some Somali pirates into the story. It seemed to work out fine in the end.
Please accept my apologies for the badly edited comment above. I blame my keyboard. lol
I really like these simple, unique tips for getting the creative juices flowing again. Will be sharing!
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