Thursday, March 1, 2012

How to Bust Through Writer's Block

This week at the Carnival we are writing about writer's block and how to beat it.  Do you ever stare at the blank (screen) page for hours, not knowing what to write?  Do you ever write yourself into a corner?  Do your characters ever get stuck?  Well, we are going to help you with that this week at the Carnival.  Read on to find my solutions to writer's block.  Then click on the other Carnis below for their tips.

Since I do an extensive outline before writing, I usually don't get stuck.  However, I do have a problem with creating the best scenes.  I will write and rewrite some scenes until I fill like it will never be done.  When that happens to me and staring at the computer isn't helping, this is what I do:

1.  Long Walk:  I live out in the middle of nowhere, and we own nearly a hundred acres, most of it covered in trees.  There is a hill and a valley.  It's a very peaceful walk.  I also love to walk in the garden.  Walking helps to clear my mind.  I will daydream about my characters, not forcing anything to happen, just listening as they interact.  Sometimes the answer comes to me, and I can write when I get back home.  Other times it isn't quite that simple, but the walk gives me a fresh outlook at least.

2.  Work on Something Else:  If you are truly stuck, it helps to get away from what you're working on for a while.  I will turn to editing a different story or writing an email.  Sometimes I will work on a list for something.  Any sort of writing is great.

3.  Daydream:  This is probably my favorite way to cope with writer's block.  I put on music and daydream, sometimes for hours.  I'll do other things at the same time like clean the house, but my mind will be swirling around my characters.  Some good stuff has come from this method.

4.  Listen to Music While Writing:  Sometimes I will listen to music while on my laptop, staring at the scene I'm working on.  If it's the right music, it can take you to new places.  This is how I did the 'red dress scene' in Crushed.

5.  Make a List:  Once in a while when I am extremely stuck and nothing else works, I will try this.  I take a clean sheet of paper and write the problem down.  For instance: Kristen is on a date with Zach.  I have no idea where it should go, so I write down the possibilities.  Maybe I put 'they have a fight.'  I draw an arrow from that to another line and write down the possible things they could fight about.  I will do this with each thing on my list.  Eventually I find something I like this way.

6.  Take a Nap:  Okay, this is my favorite.  I love to take a nap in the afternooon.  When I wake up, I'm usually ready to tackle the book again.

I hope these have helped you.  Be sure to check out the other Carnis to see what they have to say about the subject.  I know I'm going to.  Happy Writing!

.Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.Heather Self4.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga6.Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
7.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 8.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
9.Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series10.Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
11.Dani Snell's Refracted Light Reviews 12.Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
13.M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 14.Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind
15.Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls16.Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler
17.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter18.TG Ayer
19.Melissa Pearl, Author of The Time Spirit Trilogy20.Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga
21.Roots in Myth, PJ Hoover22.Courtney Cole Writes


Kristi said...

Great tips! The walking is one of my personal always seems to inspire me. :)

Thanks for sharing!

YelenaC said...

Great tips. I think switching to something else for awhile definitely works most of the time. And napping would be my favorite as well (but I think that might be a problem if I do it during dayjob :D)
Also, walking always gave me a different perspective and relaxed me.

Rita Webb said...

Awesome post! Great advice!

Two more ideas: (1) talk it out with someone and (2) spend more time plotting and preparing before you start writing.

K. C. Blake said...

Thank you.

I forgot about talking to someone. That should deff be on the list. When I get stuck, if I talk it out with another person, ideas come to me. Thank you, Rita.