View Full Version : Writer's Block
January 6th, 2002, 03:30 PM
I've run searches for writer's block on this site, and I'm actually surprised that I couldn't find anything but a mention of Robert Asprin's bout with it... I just wonder what techniques have worked for any of you when dealing with a particularly nasty bit of creative block. Believe me when I say that ALL suggestions are appreciated!!!
January 6th, 2002, 03:53 PM
Well, I have actually never experienced it myself, so I guess I'm not excatly the right one to ask but. But anyway, I recently read an article on SFWA called '50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work.' Some of them was rather interesting suggestions. You might find it helpful.
Here's the URL: http://www.sfwa.org/writing/strategies.html .
The site is in fact full of interesting articles. I think there's some more on writers block also, but I haven't read them (yet).
[This message has been edited by nicba (edited January 06, 2002).]
January 6th, 2002, 04:32 PM
How lucky you are, Nicba! Until this recent dry (arid, cracking soil, hot windy desert, stinging sandstorm) spell, I hadn't dealt with it, either... But the cosmos, being as harsh and unpredictable as they are, have dictated that other massive upheavals command my attention.
The site you suggested is GREAT - thank you!
January 6th, 2002, 07:36 PM
Can't say I've ever had writer's block, but whenever I hit a bumpy rode, it helps me the most just to talk it out with someone. To get a completely fresh view. This has always proved sufficient.
January 7th, 2002, 12:24 AM
I'm one of those that doesn't believe in Writer's Block. I think it's a convenient excuse but that's about it.
There are times when we're all uninspired or lacking in motivation about a particular piece of writing but that doesn't constitute a 'block'. When I'm in that situation, I write about something else. Anything.
It's an old cliche but 'a writer writes' and those that agonise cos they feel they are in the grip of writer's block need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and write anything other than that which is causing them trouble. A diary entry, describre your garden, review a film. Doesn't matter what, just prove to yourself you can put words on paper.
That might sound a harsh view but if you let yourself slip into believing you have this condition, it'll self-fulfil.
January 7th, 2002, 12:44 AM
I agree with NOM.
Usually, when I feel I can't write, it's because of one of those things: (1) I'm having a personal problem; (2) I want to begin writing at "the right moment", so I'll write the scene/chapter "better"; (3) The scene/chapter I'm about to write does not inspire me.
(1) may be serious, but (2) and (3) usually are excuses to say "I'm bored".
So. Solutions (for me, at least): (1) Music; (2) Talk with someone (about my story, if possible); (3) Do some other creative stuff, either that is article-writing, site-building, writing a short story, painting (I'm really bad at that! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif), or anything else.
Hope I helped a bit.
January 7th, 2002, 04:23 AM
I think the term ďwriterís blockĒ can mean several different things. Sometimes it means that you canít put two words on paper. Sometimes it simply means that you are uninspired.
There have been many occasions where I was uninspired and didnít feel like writing. But there are so many aspects to writing a story / book. There is always something to work on.
If you do not feel the creative flow, donít put so much pressure on yourself to be creative. In other words just write short sentences to put down on paper the important points of that particular section (ie Jane picks a fight with John, because she is upset about her motherís death). Eventually you will feel the creative juices and you can go back and elaborate on those sections.
Or, try working on another part of the story / book. If there is a fight scene or confrontation that you can get into, then work on it.
Or, if you are stuck on a plot point, something about the story just isnít working, take a break (15 minutes or so, not days). Go for a jog or something that leaves you brain free. Use that time to consider your storyís problem. A solution may jump out at you.
Or, work on the details, history of the world, how a religion got started, why a character likes the color blue, etc. More than likely you will not actually use these details, but sometimes they can help you get back into the story.
By the way, I usually donít talk it out. Although it is a good way to get fired up again, I usually end up talking too much. For some reason, even after their eyes have glazed over, I still rattle on about the most mundane aspects of the story. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
January 7th, 2002, 04:43 AM
I too have never, fortunately, experienced writer's block. but then again, when i write, i don't really know where i am going to begin with, so each time i open my laptop i need to let the characters direct me. one suggestion might be, xiabhiaan, to allow your character or characters to interact according to their personalities - get inside of them and let them do and say what they need to based upon the history and persona you have already created for them. i frequently tell my editorial assistant that i was as surprised as she was with what happened in such and such a chapter. things seem to fall into place when the books are character directed, at least for me.
the one time that i had difficulty writing (not writer's block per se) was the week after 9/11. i live and work in nyc. when i finally found the courage to continue (i was in the middle of the third book in a series i am writing) i wrote the darkest chapter i have ever written. but, it helped me to deal with what had happened. i wrote about evil and its appearance on earth, and i embodied the horror and ensuing fear of 9/11 in my characters' struggles. write your emotions. write from the heart. close your eyes and speak through your characters. let them be real people with real concerns and motivations. they will lead you around the block.
January 7th, 2002, 05:18 AM
I'll second that!
January 7th, 2002, 05:39 AM
I've always found that simple writing excercises often help alleviate writer's block, or writing in a different place often helps get the creative juices flowing. If you normally write in our bedroom, go find a quite study, a library, a living room- anything, and scribble your ideas in a notebook. If that still doesn't help, pick an object in the room you are in and write about it...A table, chair, sofa, window, the veiw from the window...anything. If it helps, try thinking how, if at all, such an item would affect your characters and stories. Is your character travelling? would that bed in your room entice him to take a load off for a while? Is he hungry? What kind of food would be on the table if he were eating...maybe he's outside, so now you need to think about how he would eat withotu a table...what would he eat, etc.
Just try simple things like that...it'll likely never end up in your finished version, but it gets your mind back into the story- which is, I believe, what writer's block really is...the inability (hopefully temporary) to get "into" the story.
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