Author Topic: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!  (Read 8909 times)

Offline KatieHal

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Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« on: January 18, 2013, 11:31:55 AM »
HELP!

I've had terrible writer's block lately. I'll sit there and there's just NOTHING coming. And the worst thing is, I'm SO CLOSE to finishing the first draft of my novel Ghostlight! I'm really like 2 or so chapters from the end and I so badly want to finish it.

Part of the problem, in my case, is that the most recent chapter I think I want to rewrite, which will change how those last 2 chapters are set up significantly. But I can't make up my mind about how to rewrite the previous chapter, and I can't manage to even force myself to forge ahead and worry about fixing it later, which I usually do when I encounter this issue.

So. Writer's block. How do you conquer it?

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Offline darthkiwi

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 12:52:42 PM »
I sometimes find that I can't think ahead to what I should write next because my plans are too vague. So in your case we have "pushing ahead" and "rewriting chapter", which are both good ideas. But neither of them are realisable right now because you're not really sure what doing either of them would actually *mean*.

I'd probably just jot down whatever I deemed relevant to either the rewriting process or the forging ahead process, or both. Then, when you've got some small ideas ("Maybe character A can do this" or "It would be weird if character B didn't do this" or whatever) then you can start sticking bits and pieces together and start to think of what would happen in that chapter. Once you have small things you can see how the big thing would work; it's often difficult if not impossible to take large if obvious steps, but taking small steps one after the other is often feasible.

Maybe I'm on the wrong track, but those are my two cents.
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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 01:15:23 PM »
All good ideas, and I've tried doing similar things. I'm also stuck in general, even when trying to write other stuff lately, and I'm wondering if just managing to take a break from this particular story for a session might not help.

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Offline Arkillian

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 02:22:31 PM »
I've had writers block for about 6 years, and I talked to my homeopath about it, and it coincided with a major break up with an ex, and excessively bad health. See if something happened around the time of the writer's block to if something caused it.

Also, if you want to rewrite the whole chapter, then maybe it's best to stop writing and reconstruct the chapter all together cause you obviously don't like it.

the other option is writing a few short stories. See if that clears the block.

I don't specialise in writing, but that's my take. I hope it helps  :-[


Offline darthkiwi

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 03:54:07 PM »
It'll probably help to do something else for a while, like you say. Arkillian's suggestion of short stories isn't a bad one, but if that seems too daunting then just making little notes to yourself, inventing a character and giving them a backstory for half an hour, creating a plot for a silly little story that's just playful and that you're not actually judging yourself on - I find those can all sort of let you be creative without the pressure of "I must finish this!" And once you have your "creative juices" flowing (what an odd phrase, but I guess it fits) then you might come back to your old story with a fresh mindset.

And sometimes just doing something else can help. Browsing the internet for inspiration is something I probably do too often, but it can yield new ideas. So can going outside and doing something completely unrelated, or working on a totally different problem - maybe a more technical problem which is more about finding a workmanlike solution to a problem and less about thinking creatively.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 03:59:43 PM by darthkiwi »
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Offline kyranthia

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 10:29:15 PM »

Part of the problem, in my case, is that the most recent chapter I think I want to rewrite, which will change how those last 2 chapters are set up significantly. But I can't make up my mind about how to rewrite the previous chapter, and I can't manage to even force myself to forge ahead and worry about fixing it later, which I usually do when I encounter this issue.

So what about the previous chapter makes you want to rewrite it?  Is it a case of you not liking what happened in it or how the events unfolded or just tweaking things in the chapter to make it better?

Offline Oldbushie

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 12:34:15 AM »
I get coder's block occasionally... sometimes the only thing I can do to get over block is to get rid of distractions (either by putting them away or, well, finishing them) or tricking my brain into not being aware of what I'm doing until I'm suddenly coding again. Hacking the brain!

My biggest problem is usually starting something big, but once I get over that initial hurdle I'm good for several hours. The trick is to not overthink what you're doing.
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Offline Deloria

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 11:56:13 AM »
Steps to usable inspiration:

Step 1: Get high (sleeping pills work best: Take them and then fight off sleep for fifteen minutes. You won't be tired after this.)
Step 2: Have all teh thoughts!
Step 3: Put them on paper. This will look a lot different from your usual writing, but you will probably have more creative ideas and a stranger style. :D
 
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Offline crayauchtin

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 12:51:57 PM »
I like to conquer writer's block by re-writing other people's work and calling it fan fiction (at least publicly, privately I usually call it "improved" :P)
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Offline Deloria

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 04:39:58 PM »
I like to conquer writer's block by re-writing other people's work and calling it fan fiction (at least publicly, privately I usually call it "improved" :P)
XD This is win. XD
 
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Offline writerlove

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 12:51:39 PM »
 :rofl: I like Cray's answer!

In all seriousness, I mainly just give that section a rest and come back to it. Sometimes the best thing is a few day's break is all I need. Sure, takes longer to update that way, but in fan fiction's case, I'm not on any deadline. Now, in a newsroom... I might ask coworkers for help or just push through it. A deadline is a deadline in journalism and it can't be missed.
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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2013, 08:22:22 PM »
Quote
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Douglas Adams

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Offline darthkiwi

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2013, 09:32:43 AM »
Quote
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Douglas Adams

One of my favourite quotes :P

Did you miss a deadline? XD
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 09:35:15 AM by darthkiwi »
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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2013, 10:06:04 AM »
Haha, not a specific one, recently. :)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 02:02:49 PM by Oldbushie »

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Offline writerlove

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 05:50:29 PM »
I'm at the stage in my fiction where anything I come up with sounds horrible. I know what's supposed to happen, but not sure how to say it. I also need to align the romantic subplot with the main plot. I haven't set in stone when things will happen and how that affects the main story. :-\ :wall:
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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 05:56:04 PM »
Having an idea of how that'll affect other plots is good. And a major subplot certainly SHOULD affect the main plot.

Rather than letting the subplot dictate itself to you, have you tried thinking of what complications YOU want to come up? Or, think about what complications a romance naturally has, and then think of how those could affect your main plot?


Also I feel like I should've said this when it happened, but I'm happy to say I finally finished the first draft of my novel! :D

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Offline Oldbushie

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2013, 11:33:28 PM »
Huzzah! Progress! :D
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Offline br305893

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Re: Let's Conquer Writer's Block!
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2013, 04:06:42 PM »
I get composers block sometimes. What I try to do is listen to songs by established artists for inspiration. Bet that works for writing too, only with books instead of songs.
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