January 23, 2017

Strategies for Combating Writers Block

I have a confession to make. I'm suffering from a serious case of writers' block. I've gotten to a point in my manuscript in which I know where I need to go but just can't figure out how to get there. Usually, I try not to sweat it when I get stuck. After a couple days, I'll puzzle out what needs to happen next or how the characters will surmount the challenge I gave them. But until then, I need to keep in the 'writer mindset' or else I'll lose serious momentum. So, what can a writer do when they just don't know what comes next in their manuscript?


Read


Reading lots of books helps writers hone their craft. Now that I've been writing for a while, I try to read critically. How does the author describe the characters, move the plot forward, and handle dialogue? By reading from a writer's point of view, you can start to uncover the mechanics behind the story and learn what works really well and what doesn't.


Write something else


Like this weeks blog post! Or write a review for each of the books you've read recently (do this regardless; it really helps out the author). Take some time to write a short story or some poetry or whatever sparks your interest.

Now, I'm not saying take this as an opportunity to start another novel. You don't want to start up something that's a major time commitment until after you've finished drafting your current novel.


Do a little bit of research


As a sci-fi writer, I like to write about science stuff which I'm not already familiar with. When I get stuck writing, I'll use some of that time to research a science topic that I want to incorporate into my story. I've heard that you should "write what you know," which I take to mean that I should learn more so I can write about a broader range of things.


Help other writers


The great thing about indie authors is that we help each other out. I try to go onto writing forums and contribute something useful. I've learned so much from other writers, it only makes sense to share what I've learned as well.

There are a ton of resources out there on how to beat writers' block. I know it's unusual to embrace it, but I've found that I can never stay away from a work-in-progress for too long before I know what should happen next.

What do you do when you encounter writers' block? I'd love to know!

1 comment:

  1. Good post. My bouts with it don't last long, and seem to die on command. The hardest part for me is sitting down, opening the file, and getting those first few keystrokes. Once I accomplish that, the rest drops away. I'm in my writing, and then it becomes a challenge to snap back out it. Some days aren't so easy, but I just keep adding sentences until I'm done with my writing time, and give myself little goals. 500 more words, then I'll refill the coffee. Thank kind of thing. Good luck on your writing.

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