Fighting Writer’s Block 101

I have various motivational tips and things in this tag, so I’ll keep this to the basics. It depends a lot on what kind of writers block you’re having.

“I can’t figure out what happens next.”

Take a break, breathe, and outline. Even if you’re not a big outliner, having a direction to go in can be very useful for quelling writer’s block. Consider:

  • What do your characters want?
  • What must they learn, acquire, or do to achieve this?
  • What’s in their way? (Or what can you the writer put in their way?)
  • Now, how will they get through this to their goal? (Or will they fail?)

For more outlining tips, check out this tag!

“I know what happens next, but I can’t figure out how to write it.”

Start with the very first sentence. Where is your pov character standing? What do they see? Which direction are they moving? What do they say?

Often we get preoccupied by the scene as a whole and forget that a story is, at its heart, really just a bunch of boring sentences explaining what a person is doing, thinking, and feeling.

If you’re having an especially hard time with this, try writing just the dialogue, or doing a more in-depth outline of the scene. (Ie, instead of “Jack goes to Agatha’s house and they talk about vampires” write out “Jack enters the house, sees Agatha at the table and the couch, now cluttered with books, and walks over to the table and sits down. He says hey. She smiles.”)

“I’m trying to write this scene but nothing sounds good.”

Of course it doesn’t, silly goose!

First drafts during nano rarely sound good. That’s okay. This draft is about you having fun, telling yourself a story. Every sentence is temporary. Every scene will get better with edits.

Remember: You don’t have to write anything you don’t feel like writing! 

  • Don’t want to type up that description yet? Skip it!
  • Not feeling some dialogue? Move on!
  • Can’t come up with the right metaphor? Add a [put metaphor here]!

And now for the mandatory self-promo: You can support me and my advice giving capabilities by reading my sirens and pirates debut novel, Our Bloody Pearl! 

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