I have recently been suffering from writer’s block which is so annoying. I want to wrap up the piece I am working on before Camp Nanowrimo July rolls around. I am currently down to those few scenes that I just don’t know what to do. When I can choose my scene, the writing comes easily. However now there isn’t much choice left, I have to make do with what I’ve got. Thus was born this list of ways to combat writer’s block.
Make the Scene Fun
You know those scenes that you can’t wait to write? The ones that you spend all your time thinking about. They play through your mind at work/school, when you’re in the shower and when you’re talking with friends. Basically all the times you can’t be writing you wish you were so you could get down that scene. I once read that all scenes you write should be like that. Despite the name/author of the article escaping me, the message has stuck. I have found that if you look hard enough, there is always a way to make a scene more fun to write. Add romantic tension. Introduce a new character or add in one of your favorites. Add an argument (like I suggested in my Standing out from the Crowd post). Even putting in a clever poke to another movie, tv show or novel can help to liven up a scene.
Think it Through
I find that one of the reasons I get writer’s block is that I don’t know what is happening in the scene well enough. Is there a purpose to it? Are all your characters acting realistically? Do you know where it is going to end up? If the answers to any of these questions is no, then you have some brainstorming to do. That should help to fix the problem
Are you Overthinking it?
Another reason you might be getting writer’s block is from over thinking the problem. If you are forcing the scene in a certain direction, relax. Let the scene go where it goes. What’s the worst that could happen. You have another direction to explore that might prove better than your original idea.
Know Your Characters
Sometimes when a scene isn’t working, I just need some momentum and then everything falls into place. Knowing my characters helps with this a LOT. It’s not always easy to write some of the plot that you know, or even the setting. However adding in information about you character is almost always an option. I always try to think of what part of the character I feel most strongly about. Which characteristic is, in essence, them. I then use this characteristic in the scene as a surefire way to stay true to my story and keep my writing moving.
Jump Ahead a Bit
Even if you don’t know how it starts, maybe you know how it ends. Sometimes it is just one specific part of a conversation that I don’t know how to write, or sometimes it’s a setting description that I get stuck on. Skipping the bit that I am having trouble on and just writing ‘something to do with her past’ so that I can move on often helps.
Get something down on the page. It’s better to have something than nothing. And you never know, this might take you in a really great direction.If worst comes to worst and it goes completely wrong, at least you know which direction NOT to go in.
That’s all the tips I have. Hopefully these have been helpful. I would love to know what other strategies you use. And wouldn’t you know, I am writing this post to avoid confronting my own writer’s block.