Thursday, August 25, 2011

Writer’s Block – A Practical Approach

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about writer’s block and how to be encouraged as you work your way through it. For today’s This-n-That Thursday, I thought I’d give you a few exercises to help you do just that.

If your writer’s block happens in the middle of a project:
  1. Character diaries – Choose one of your characters and begin a diary. How does your character feel at this point of your story? What does he/she think is going to happen next?
  2. Timeline – Make a timeline of the action leading up to this point, and then make tentative timelines that detail what could happen afterwards.
  3. Brainstorm – Write down every single idea, regardless of how silly. (This is also a good way to silence that inner editor.)

If you have writer’s block at the beginning of a project:
  1. Research Trip – Go somewhere to do research on your project. If you are writing a historical, go to a local museum or library. If you write mysteries, interview a private investigator. Take lots of notes and see if you can get inspired.
  2. Committee – Form a committee of your writing buddies and ask them to help you bounce around ideas. You can do this virtually by using Skype or some other video conferencing program.
  3. Free write – Just open a blank document and start writing. Sometimes the blank page is so imposing to a writer. Getting something down on the page cuts down on the pressure. Titles – Brainstorm prospective titles for your next project. (Remember, “brainstorm” means write down everything.)

If you’d like more exercises to help you combat writer’s block, here are a few websites:

I’d love to hear from you as well. Have you ever had writer’s block? How long did it last? How did you finally break it?

~ Angie