Goodness! It has been a while hasn't it? I've been so focused on redoing my entire website (not to mention healing) that time has just flown right by. Alas, such is life at one time or another, and me with two brand new projects to add on to my existing series. Why do one thing when you can do twenty? (Don't answer that.)
Today we shall be focusing on the ever troublesome phenomenon known as writer's block. It is a pain, isn't it? I must admit, when crafting Blameless I was caught on chapter 19, finally struggled through it, only to get caught up on chapter 20! What a nightmare. Truly one of the most frustrating moments of producing that book.
It's something that all writers struggle with. We've all experienced it. (If you haven't, I would very much like to meet you and steal your brain *ahem* pick your brain. I said pick.) I'm here to tell you, I don't have advice on how to avoid it, but I can tell you some effective ways to beat it.
Way #1 Research: I've found that when you're bogged down in plot points, twists and turns, and a whole manner of other problems...go back to the basics. Writers are researchers at heart, every novel requires some element of research whether it's into the heart of human emotion or delving into the past or researching your own notes to make sure you are following the rules of your own fantastical universe. (And fantasy can always be influenced by the greats...not a copy of, just influenced by. There's a reason they're great!) As you research your mind will relax and dissolve into the time period (or space time continuum) (or reality) (or world) that your novel takes place in...you'll be amazed at the ideas that come pouring in just by submersing yourself in the culture of your novel.
Way #2 Write it Out: Say what? It's crazy, right? But this can actually work. If you're stuck on a scene, sometimes you just need to keep writing it and scrapping it. There's a twofold benefit to doing this. One: some of the scraps can turn into scenes for later in the book. (Ta-Da! You just saved yourself some time. Hey, no one said you had to write the book in order. If you like the scene, keep it. See if you can work it in...but don't force it.) Two: Writers only get better by doing this one thing. It's a massively kept secret...called writing. The more you do it the better you get. So get typing. (Or scribbling.) You'll be amazed with what you can come up with. Just keep chugging through and all of a sudden, that scene will be finished and you'll actually like where it ended up.
Way #3 Talk About It: This may come as a shock to many of us hermit-like beings...but there are actually many writers in the world today who have experienced writer's block. Not only that, but social media has drastically reduced the amount of time (and for some of us pain) it takes to contact these shy creatures. It is a gift worth using. Use the tools at hand and hash out problems with fellow writers, odds are they have a few creative solutions of their own. The back and forth is priceless and the friendships can be lifelong. (Plus, who else can relate to talking to their characters?) You might not even use any of the ideas suggested...but the ideas might spark some of your own. You just never know. So give it a try, the results could surprise you!
That's it for today my fellow writers. I'm off to curl up in a blanket and put my nose back to the keyboard. Well...I suppose it's been to the keyboard, but this isn't exactly any of my manuscripts.... Gracious, it looks like I might need some coffee, too.