Every writer encounters writer’s block. That dreaded moment while working on your work in progress when you hit those “doldrums”
There are countless ways you can beat writer’s block and many authors/bloggers have written their own lists of advice prior. Here are just a few tips I’ve pulled from my own experience, as well as from other authors’ advice.
If you are working with a huge cast of characters, you’ll likely be switching POV constantly. If you find yourself having difficulty within one character’s POV, where it seems like you’ve hit a huge wall, try switching to another character. George R. R. Martin mentioned in an interview that he does just that, whenever he comes to a place where he doesn’t know what else to write. Of course, he has an immense cast of characters, so switching POVs is fairly easy for him 🙂 But it’s worth a shot!
Some authors have also suggested that, if you find you are hitting a wall in a specific character POV, try writing the same scene/chapter from the other character’s POV. Even if it’s not what you want to place into your final product.
Work on another WIP
Are you sitting, staring at the current WIP in front of you blanking out, like….uuhhh (who hasn’t done that?)
Wipe the drool from your face and open up another WIP. When you begin working on something fresh, new ideas tend to pop up like all those weeds in my pot of petunias. Not just new ideas for the new (or old) WIP, but for the previous WIP, as well. This is a piece of advice I provide to you birthed of my own experience. I don’t currently work on any deadlines, so I have the freedom to swap WIPs whenever I please. I try to stick to one WIP a month. If I don’t, I become rather disorganized. But swapping out every 1 or 2 months helps my mind stay fresh and keeps me from blanking out on what to write.
Work on your outline
If you’re a pantser, well…try it, see what you think. It might benefit you more than you think to sit and write about your story in paragraph form. That’s how half my ideas develop. I write out short scenes in single paragraph form, instead of forcing in all the tiny details, (action, dialogue, setting) and then as I continue to write, more ideas form, and more ideas form off those – like a chain reaction.
Work on your character’s backstory
For me, writing out pages of backstory has been crucial to developing a well-thought out manuscript.
The biggest problem new writers face is discerning where to actually begin their final draft of their manuscript. Info dumping is an epidemic among amateur authors and even pros that have been writing for years. The best place for the reader to begin reading is not the same place the writer begins writing.
If you desire to really dig deep and connect with the heart of your characters, I encourage you to write out their backstory as if no one else but you will be reading it. Many authors also develop “Character Interviews” where they answer questions in character form. This is also extremely useful when it comes to developing your characters, and for breaking through the blockade of writer’s block. Cait from Paper Fury posts interview questions in a monthly blog hop called Beautiful People where writers from all over share their character interviews. If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay, you can answer the questions for your own practice and character development purposes.
Your turn: What other tips have you found work for you in helping you get through writer’s block? I would love to hear about them! Let me know in the comments!