Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tips for Busting Through Writer's Block

Is your story in a rut? Are you feeling stuck? Writer's block is definitely a problem that most every writer has to deal with. It can be so frustrating! Here are some ideas that might help you get through it:

* Set your story aside for a couple of weeks and work on something else. Sometimes, like a watched pot that never boils, a story idea never comes when we are fretting over it. In my experience, the best ideas for my stories often arrive when I am thinking about something else -- walking my dog, cooking dinner, browsing a farmer's market.

* Is there a later part of the story you want to write or know what's going to happen, but the middle is tripping you up? Sometimes writers know the beginning and the end, but not the middle. If this is the case for your story, my advice would be to skip forward and write the ending. Then, you can go back and write the middle -- ideas might come to you once the ending is in place.

* Sometimes I get blocked when I am at a "fork in the road" in my story: there are multiple routes my story could take, and I'm not sure which one is the "right" one. If you suspect this is the case for your subconscious, I would try just picking one route -- one way the story could go, one thing that could happen next -- and write that. Just see what happens! If it doesn't feel right, you can always go back and change it. But maybe it will be the thing to get you through the block!

* Try putting yourself in your character's head. Let her or him take the reins of the story. Close your eyes and really get inside that character. What are they thinking/feeling/worrying/wondering/fearing? What would they do next in this situation they are in? Try to "freewrite" without thinking too much or editing yourself. Write for eight or ten minutes without stopping. Then, see what you have. Maybe it will be enough to re-start the story again.

Hope these ideas help! I'd also love to hear any of your tips for busting through writer's block!


Jon Becker said...

I love this post! :) It's really great advice, thanks for sharing it!

Dallas said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you found it helpful! :)