One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other. Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.
This week’s topic is:
Many of us have experienced times where we are suddenly stuck in our work – no new ideas for how to continue the story, no way out of a situation the characters find themselves in, no further interest in the story. What are some of the ways you have found that help you to get past this feeling and continue writing?
Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.
In my case, it happens when something disturbs my daily writing routine, even though I have a detailed outline by my side. I usually bounce back after a while (perhaps another wasted hour), but if it takes longer, I just stop and do something else completely and accept the fact that I wasted a day of writing.
I have a few ways of dealing with this. One is to just walk away for awhile and go write something else. Sometimes a problem like this just needs time to work its way through my brain. Sometimes I find that I’ve really written all care to about a story and it just time to drop it and move on to other things. Not all stories I start writing have an ending.
And there are times that I do a bit of soul searching to figure out why I am blocked.
But my favorite is to open a new editor window and spend 30 minutes writing about why I am blocked. Often that uncovers the problem and I can move on with a rewrite, new sections, or give myself permission to drop the whole thing.
Make some changes on how you started it. Free-write for 10 minutes whatever comes to your mind and take inspiration from there.
Sometimes when I get stuck, I have the characters write a diary entry. It allows the characters to tell me about their day, what they’re worried about, what they’re looking forward to. Then I can take that and use it as a means to get out of the corner. It’s kind of like a free write, but at the same time it’s kind of not- by making the characters tell me what they care about, it helps me understand why they are not cooperating with the story I’m trying to tell.