How to overcome writers blockHow 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?

Looking for more writing hints? Try the writing hints articles on Just Publishing Advice.

Overcome Writer’s Block – The Joy Of Writing
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6 thoughts on “Overcome Writer’s Block – The Joy Of Writing

  • 24/02/2012 at 3:47 pm

    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…


  • 24/02/2012 at 4:42 pm

    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 :)

  • 24/02/2012 at 5:26 pm

    The keynote speaker at a conference said, if you want to make the middle of your book sing…kill somebody. Works for me!

  • 24/02/2012 at 6:30 pm

    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.

  • 24/02/2012 at 6:35 pm

    Please accept my apologies for the badly edited comment above. I blame my keyboard. lol

  • 31/10/2017 at 3:49 am

    I really like these simple, unique tips for getting the creative juices flowing again. Will be sharing!

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