The dreaded writer’s block! Some claim it’s totally real and have even experienced it. Others say that it’s just a mental thing. But whatever the case maybe, in a writer’s life we comes across a time when our motivation and writing inspiration wanes.
Whether we want to call it writer’s block, writer’s stuck or just plain laziness the underlying fact is that it stops us from writing our masterpiece. And it’s something every writer experience some point in writing their book.
So how do you kill writer’s block and start writing again? How do you conquer your writing fears and start your novel? And how do you become inspired, find your writing inspiration, especially in 2020 during this pandemic?
Grab your happy liquid (water, juice, coffee, tea, wine) and your pen and paper because for the next 25 minutes or so we will be discussing everything writer’s block.
Are you ready?
This is How to Overcome Writer’s Block in 47 Unique Writing Tips.
What we’ll discuss in this lengthy comprehensive guide…
- What is Writer’s Block?
- Is Writer’s Block Real?
- What causes Writer’s Block?
- How to Overcome Writer’s Block?
- Build A Habit Of Routine
- Accept Perfection Is A Process
- 10 Minutes Timer And Go!
- Just Write
- Write By Hand
- Write a Journal Entry, Email or Short Story
- 15 Minutes Timer And Go!
- Write-In Short Burst
- Put in a New Setting
- Think about the Future
- Challenge Yourself or Scare Yourself
- Change Location
- Write About Your Story
- Map Out A Story
- Start in the Middle
- Imagine Your Future
- Participate in #vss365 Writing Prompts
- Image Prompts
- Inhabit Your Character’s World.
- Read a Book
- Keep Notes
- Acknowledge The Moment Will Pass
- Stop Trying And Start Doing
- 10 Unique Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
- Fun Vs. Chore
- Do Housework
- Take a Shower
- Watch A Movie
- Long Walks
- Play a Game/Video games
- Grab a Camera/Sketch Pad
- Argue or Debate
- How to Cure Writer’s Block using Writer’s Block Exercises?
- Pause And Do Some Research
- Interview a Character
- Return the Next Day
- How to Stop Writer’s Block through Writer’s Block Music?
- Listen To Music
- The Writer’s Block Game.
What is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block meaning according to the Oxford languages – the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.
This is the writer’s block definition according to Wikipedia – Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.
Writer’s Block according to Urban Dictionary – A condition that may occur while writing. It causes the person afflicted to be unable to think of what to write next.
Is Writer’s Block Real?
Yes. It would be wrong to say it’s not real. A lot of writers encounter being stuck in their writing process from time to time. They may experience a slowdown in their creative process.
Some writers may lose the ability to think about new things and struggle to write what’s next. All these can be considered a mental block in creativity.
But where does writer’s block come from? Why does it happen?
What causes Writer’s Block?
Fear. And exhaustion. But mainly fear.
Fear of Failure
You’re afraid of failure. I’m afraid of failure. This is something many individuals struggle with, especially when doing something new or starting a new venture. And it’s no different from starting or continuing a novel.
As writers, we have set the bar so high as to what we want our writing to look like or our book to look like. But we fail to recognize that who we are comparing ourselves to are actually seasoned writers.
In order to overcome this fear of failure we need to remember that the writing process goes through many editing drafts before it becomes the real deal.
Fear of not being good enough
A great writer always reads. But the more you read, the more ideas you get in addition to the feeling that your literary piece is well not good enough.
You’re reading this amazing novel by this amazing writer and you’re saying to yourself, damn! I’m never going to make it in the literary world. I just can’t write that good, no one is going to read my piece of garbage.
Guess what? The piece you’re reading, that writer said the same thing. It’s something I have taken to heart as well. I’m currently reading a book called One of Us is Lying.
This mystery/thriller is gripping and attention-grabbing, so much so that I’m comparing my novel to it. And now I’m falling into the same category of not being good enough.
Fear of limited time
So when you’re starting out as a writer, writing will not be your fulltime job. Some well-seasoned writers still don’t have writing as a fulltime career and likewise the same with you. This means that time is of the essence.
I myself consider writing my side gig as I am a fashion designer. So there is not a lot of time for writing. Yet that fear should not hold you back from actually pursuing a writing career.
Spending small amounts of time every day or every other day can help drive your writing process and help you maximize your time.
Fear of…well laziness
I’m not going to sit here and tell you laziness hasn’t overtaken me at times. Currently laziness along with other things is the reason why I haven’t picked up my novel in over a week.
But if we continue to allow laziness to rule us we will never get any wriing done. Hence we will never have a completed draft in front of us. Which means we will never be able to say I’m going to edit my manuscript.
In the end, all our writing friends are going to be present professionally published pieces while we are sitting in the corner wishing we overcame the laziness. But don’t worry, as you continue to read I’m going to help you overcome the laziness.
Another thing that causes writer’s block is not having a plan. So you claim your a panster yet when you sit to write your thoughts are all over the place. It can become overwhelming to the point that you push aside the manuscript and scroll through social meia instead.
Planning out your novel is crucial. You don’t have to plan every single detail to the letter but having a few words jotted down as to where you want your novel to go will certainly help you in overcoming the block.
Now that we have established what writer’s block is and what causes it, let’s see what we can to do deal with this lack of creativity.
How to Overcome Writer’s Block?
Build A Habit Of Routine
This is very important.
It’s just like exercising. Every morning at six you take a run for one hour. That’s your routine. They say by the time you do that for three months it becomes your habit.
Likewise with writing. It has to become a habit.
This does not mean that you would write 2000 words everyday but getting words on a paper daily helps with your routine.
Now I always tell persons, the word count doesn’t matter. Many get frustrated when they can’t reach a certain word count for the day.
While some writers work best with a particular word count goal in mind, you may be different.
That’s why I always say to my fellow writers just put words on the paper. Don’t look at the word count. Think about the journey ahead and that you’re one step closer to finishing it.
Accept Perfection Is A Process
You don’t wake up one day and say I want to be a writer and start writing a book and then BAM! You’re a bestseller. There are many talented writers in the world and only a handful of bestselling authors.
In order to achieve the level of perfection that you want you got to hone your craft.
Remember writing is a journey, it’s not a sprint or a marathon. So it takes time. It takes a process.
Perfection isn’t achieved over night.
10 Minutes Timer And Go!
Small amounts of time can hook you into working. Write about a photo, a character from a movie.
Nothing is wrong with being scared. Frankly if you weren’t scared we’ll be worried. Being scared shows you know your limits, you’re humble in admitting them and it tells us you’re human.
Know that whatever you write, it’s going to be bad. Real bad.
Yea, sorry not sorry.
But hey. Now you have something to work on.
Write By Hand
This is one of my favorites. No matter how much tech there is, do you ever feel like nothing could replace the hard copy? As I’m writing this post I am actually following the points I’ve jotted down in my diary.
Pen to paper is so soothing. You can literally write anywhere.
Well almost anywhere.
You know the glare from the sun that beats down on your computer screen and you can’t see anything even if you brighten that screen?
Yea! Glare don’t beat down on paper.
Not to mention there is less pressure. You are allowed to give yourself permission to write garbage.
You can’t hit backspace. When I use paper I usually scratch and continue going. And sometimes I know I am writing garbage but I just need to see something on paper to know what to edit.
Ever heard the saying: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
Well, I’m here to tell you, “Your trash is your treasure.”
Write a Journal Entry, Email or Short Story
Expressing your thoughts, feelings and emotions can get you in the flow and then you can shift to your WIP (work-in-progress). Journal entries can be short captions or 500 words stories.
Writing emails probably for subscribers can help as well. And short stories is something I always talk about. They can be very inspiring.
15 Minutes Timer And Go!
Turn off your all distractions. Don’t check that tweet, or DM and don’t reply to the influx of messages you are currently receiving. As a matter a fact, turn off the wifi and data.
Don’t get up before your time is up. Yea not even to pee. It doesn’t matter if all you do is sit there.
Sooner or later you will start scribbling something. Even if its about a young writer who is stuck to his or her chair until she present a read worthy story. Only then will she be granted the her wish to move.
Good storyline, huh.
Write-In Short Burst
This is something I do a lot. So little story. I promise. I’ll be brief.
When I am leaving the house I like to carry my diary with me. However, my phone has easy memos on it so I can write on the go. From my house to the first junction is ten minutes.
Do you know how many words I get in by the time the taxi stops?
About 300. And you could too.
Writing in 10-15 minute bursts can do much for your writing routine and your WIP. Also to if you do 15 minutes burst 4 times you’ve written for an hour. And if you write really fast and accomplish 300 words per burst you have already written 1200 words in that hour.
Which is awesome!
So before you embark on another 15-minute burst challenge ask yourself:
What is the next scene that I want to take place? Where does this take place? Who are the characters in the scene? Why does it play out the way it does? When does it happen? And how does this progress my story?
Asking yourself the WWW.WH questions can help you to conquer your writing fears.
Put in a New Setting
Now your story may be based in England during their coldest months. How about switch it up a little and see where the journey takes you.
What would happen if it took place in America during the Summer? Or India during the monsoon rains?
What if your character was a boy instead of a girl? Or instead of an adult, the main character is a child?
I’m not saying to change your setting and published that. But do it as side stories to spark inspiration.
Nothing is set in stone until it’s published. So you can add numerous settings to one Work In Progress and no one has to know.
Think about the Future
Earlier we talked about keeping notes on story ideas. Now we are going to be talking about looking into the future.
Look into the future.
Who dies if anyone does? What happens to the main character after the series of events? Is he or she happy with the way things turned out?
Use these questions to make connections, reach an aha! moment and surely get inspired.
Challenge Yourself or Scare Yourself
Do something that you are not accustomed to doing. This actually works well with both blogging ideas and writing ideas. When you venture out into the unknown you can write how you felt every step of the way. These feelings can be included in your book and you can better explain apprehension.
That’s what you going to feel when you step out of your comfort zone. Upon editing this post, a few days prior I engaged in a little adventure that took me out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t pretty but boy was I inspired.
Again and again, we talk about editing. It’s like The Music topic. We all sound like broken records.
Music, edit, music, edit, music, edit.
Get the point. But the reason why editing comes up so much is because it works. The results are innumerable.
And I know most people hate editing. I’m not one of them btw. Editing soothes my nerves. I love correcting and adding to the story.
You probably have a few works in progress like I do, that need some serious shaping up. Why not grab a pen and start working on them. I promise you will build some inspiration and you may just fall in love with your next work.
Now for me, I write in one of three places. It’s either my bedroom, my living room or the kitchen.
Don’t be like me. LOL
Write in a place where you would feel more productive.
So I feel really productive in my bedroom because it’s quiet. There are not a lot of distractions and I have full privacy.
Where do you feel most productive?
Is it in your backyard surrounded by the lush green of nature? In a coffee shop surrounded by the beautiful aroma of caffeine? Or in the library surrounded by silence and the smell of the written word?
Whatever it might be, location change inspires. It requires you to physically move so your laziness is dealt with. And there are new sights to see which should get your creative juices flowing and thus conquer your writing fears.
Write About Your Story
Don’t just write your story. Jot down ideas and thoughts about it.
How do you feel about your characters? Is your main character living up to the expectations you had for him or her? What do you think your side characters could do to improve the story?
How will the main events impact your character’s lives? How does it impact your life?
Remember many writers write to express how they feel through the characters. They use it as an outlet. So what impact has this event had on your life that will be similar to your characters?
Map Out A Story
Jot down who is in the scene, what happens and why this scene is important. then figure the main story threads and the major question related to each. These are the questions persons will be eager to find the answers to.
Sort out your scenes according to which plot it relates to. Remember your story has a main plot and one or two sub-plots. Take those scenes and draw a timeline or sequence of events and watch how the intercept each other.
Start in the Middle
Starting at the beginning or starting a new novel instills fear itself.
Many writers would suggest starting at the end of your novel because you have a basic understanding of how your book is going to end.
But starting halfway through your novel is one of the keys to conquering your writing fears.
Because you know your scenes. You may not know all your scenes, but you have a basic idea of what you want to take place in the book. And that’s all you need.
So halfway through your book does something grave happen? Does something exciting happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?
- When did it happen?
- What led to it happening?
- Who did it happen to?
- Who does it affect?
You see the WWW.WH rule coming to play again.
When you’re writing you don’t just say I want to write a book and then you start. You will have an idea of what scenes you want, even if it’s only one. Start there.
Imagine Your Future
Okay, let’s get really visual. Sometimes we just have to kick that fear. Shake that laziness.
You know, it’s all about conquering our writing fears, right?
So this individual is you. You did not set a routine. You did not cultivate a habit nor did you follow these points in the post. Your fear has overtaken you. Now you’re still working 12-hour shifts wishing you had listened.
I know. Not a nice picture.
This could also be you. They built a habit of routine and followed these blog post points. Then they starting writing and never stopped. Thus they overcome writing fears. Now they’re bestsellers.
And guess what?
One of them is you. You can look in the bookstore window and see your copy of your book staring back at you and giving you thumbs up.
You also threw you 12-hour shift work clothes in the garbage and called it quits after your first paycheck.
What a contrast! Don’t be the first individual. Choose to be a writing success. Be the best YOU, you can be.
Participate in #vss365 Writing Prompts
Are you a Twitter user? You should be. Twitter has one of the best writing communities and they are super supportive.
Every day a new word is tweeted into the Verse using the hashtag #vss365 and you have to draft 180 characters of a story using that word.
The beautiful thing about this is that you can read other users’ tweets and spark inspiration through them. And they can read yours as well and get inspired.
It’s a win-win.
Now, this works. And it works well. One of my short stories, His Resting Place was based on an image prompt.
We were given the image as a prompt back in primary school. It was a train track, deserted and in black and white. And we were told to write an essay based on the image. Little did I know that my one-page essay would turn into a full-fledged short story that has impacted the lives of many.
Coming this April I plan to participate in NanoWrimo yet again and this time I will become inspired by using an image prompt as the basis of my story.
So why don’t you join me? Find that image prompt and get those juices flowing. Become inspired with me. Images found on Unsplash, DevianArt or ArtStation work well. I have also used Pinterest as well.
Inhabit Your Character’s World.
If you’re messed up in the brain like I am then entering your characters world can become very interesting. It can be an insightful journey.
I am currently editing my first novel, Gray Matters and getting into my main characters head has allowed me to see things from her perspective. It’s a little bit scary.
Get into the head of your characters. Close your eyes and visualize.
Generally, writers have outlines. Whether you’re a plotter, panster or planster you have a basic understanding of how you want your book to turn out. Since that is the case when you’re stuck, hop into a scene in the future.
It may be a scene of how a character dies and here you can give a detailed description of the events that surround his or her death. Personally in my book Gray Matters I quickly hopped into a scene where one character was found dead in a shallow grave.
Even though I didn’t use that scene in the final working of the book, I accomplished the purpose of overcoming writers stuck.
You can also reveal how someone finds out about the MC’s secret if she has one and I personally there should always have one. Or you can reveal a villain’s good side. Like all villains should have a good side.
Whatever the case, choose a scene and delve into it. Remember this scene can change later on so allow your imagination to run wild. Try to see things from a different perspective.
Read a Book
Search for something to read that has a similar storyline.
So are you a romance writer with an unending desire to include assassins? Because I mean assassins got to fall in love too, right?
Or are you a writer who fills their books with action-packed thrill but there must be a hint of romance?
When I was writing Gray Matters I searched Nancy Drew books and other mystery thrillers to see how the author brought things across.
I know Nancy Drew isn’t much thriller unless you’re the younger version of me who did not read her books at night. However, it contains mystery and it was a start for me.
Also to if you’re like me and love other things more than reading, then Nancy Drew’s are a short read and it’s enjoyable at least my experience with it.
Anyways, enough about Nancy Drew, let’s see what else we can do to get inspired.
This is mandatory. No matter what type of writer you are you got to have some sort of notes.
Without them, you will certainly leave things out. I remember not writing notes and I forgot an integral part of my story which actually added the tension needed.
Don’t make that simple mistake!
Grab your pen and paper and jot down your story ideas.
For example, Bill and Amy want to buy a new house. Bill wants a large house while Amy wants something small and cozy. We see there is conflict already. In addition, their budget is $236,000. How are we going to resolve this issue?
This is where our plot points come in.
Jot them down.
Here is an example.
Bill wants a large house.
Amy wants a small house.
Their budget is X amount.
The realtor has five houses within their budget.
Bill sees his ideal house, yet it’s surrounded by forest.
This is where character traits come in.
Bill is afraid of animals, big or small. Amy loves animals. And we can go on and on and on.
Now you can go through and piece things together. It’s clear and in point form so it’s easy to read.
So, jot down your story ideas, plot points, character traits, and scene ideas. From there, let your imagination run wild and become inspired.
When we experience roadblocks in life we often ask why. Especially as a young person, now starting out into the world of work, obstacles can make or break us.
We feel like it made no sense actually starting the journey in the first place. We get frustrated and we feel the urge to give up.
Trust me when I say, I have been there and I still go there sometimes.
But you know what?
Looking back at where I came from and seeing that despite the roadblocks I was still able to overcome them, gives me a certain measure of joy. And they can do the same for you.
What can you do?
Take out some time to just reminisce. Think about when you started your writing journey how did you feel? Was it a conquer the world feeling? Did you think that you could be the next Jane Austen or J.K Rowling? Were you super excited and always on cloud nine? Could anyone have dampen your spirits?
When I started writing I did it for fun. It was a nice way to escape reality. As I got older escaping reality became my main reason for writing. By the time I was 21 I wrote to express my feelings through my characters.
It helped to deal with my family life and the different problems I encountered. Looking back I still write for fun. I can hide behind my characters and still let the world know how I feel inside. It’s perfect.
So what triggered your writing journey? Why do you write? And is it the same reason that you had when you began to write?
Re-evaluating those answers can help you to conquer your writing fears or laziness.
Acknowledge The Moment Will Pass
As we trickled down to the end of this long but very informative blog post we have concluded that everyone experiences laziness and fear in writing. Its common side effects of writing.
This knowledge has helped us to embrace our writing journey. Cherish and love it. Soon the moment will pass and our fingers will once again be tapping away on our keyboard.
Stop Trying And Start Doing
Why don’t you stop planning and trying. And stop saying I’m gonna do this or I’m gonna that. Just sit down and write.
10 Unique Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
Fun Vs. Chore
Chores! Who likes them?
- They prevent you from doing what you really enjoy.
- They are time consuming.
- They can be gross, like cleaning the fridge or the bathroom. (I find those gross).
- They are boring.
- Nobody actually likes doing them.
- But they have to be done.
The question is why would you turn your passion into a chore?
Passions are made to up build, refresh and excite. Chores don’t do that. Unless you’re one percent of the population who love chores and gets exciting when they see a broom. Then you go and all the best.
But as for the rest of mankind, we hate them.
Granted at the end you may feel great because your entire house is cleaned and the sink filled with dishes are cleared but the process to get there was tiresome.
We don’t want a tiresome process when writing. It should be breezy.
Look at your writing as a reward. When you have finished those chores you reward yourself to some word building and character insight.
So some of you are saying that is never happening. And trust and believe that I’m saying that as well. I rather stare at a blank screen for one hour than engage in housework. Sounds pretty lazy right. Well, what can I say? I’m pretty lazy at times.
Now you’re probably wondering if I don’t want to do this why am I suggesting it to you.
The thing is, I tried it and I kinda like it. And now I have those hated chores that get me in the writing mood. Yea, it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship thing going on.
But seriously guys. Close that laptop. Put down your pen and close your book. Look into your kitchen. You see that pile of dishes there just wishing to be clean. Go clean them.
They are calling your name. Begging to be washed. How dare you ignore their plea!
Remember those scenes in movies when the princess is always washing dishes in a barrel and she sees herself in the reflection but it turns into an evil witch or something.
Yea that could be you but you choose to stare at the blank screen.
Take a Shower
It seems so random and nonsensical. But many times the reasons you can’t find inspiration is because you used all up in your bank and now you need to replenish.
A nice warm bath is sure to soothe those brain nerves and allow blood flow. Or cold shower sure to shake you to your senses.
I’m more of the “shake you to your senses” kinda gal. But for the majority of persons I know, a warm bath makes them happier and it can make you happy too.
Watch A Movie
Watching a movie or a series can certainly spark inspiration. When I wanted to get my character, Miracle a personality I was currently watching Bones which I am still watching. Temperance Brennan really stood out for me with her rational personality. So I infused that into my character.
Also too Gossip Girl’s intricate storyline had me thinking that I wanted my book to be a very complicated novel that will all be revealed in the end.
So, watch a movie or a series and see how the plot unfolds and the secrets are revealed.
Interesting side point.
I am also watching Burn Notice and because I am currently editing my novel, I look at how each personality plays a role in the show.
Michael’s ex-girlfriend is trigger happy. That means she loves making things go kaboom! She also thinks the best way to get rid of problems is to shoot whoever is causing them.
On the other hand, Michael’s best friend is a former navy seal, who loves beer and women with money. It occurred to me that he loves women to take care of him.
Yet despite their vices, their work history and experience are an integral part of the show. Their vices are what make them a well-rounded character.
Honestly, I can’t watch a show and just sit and enjoy it anymore. The gears in my head keep turning as I try to see how the writers piece things together.
Movies are visual so they leave a bigger impact. Try it. I promise you will become inspired.
This totally self-explanatory.
Watch something that is similar to your WIP.
So if you write mystery then watch a mystery thriller. Probably you can view, Signs or The Sixth Sense. I believe those are mysteries. Your writing genre is action then watch some Steven Spielberg movies.
While watching a movie can be fun, remember we’re trying to conquer our writing fears. So watch the movie with research in mind.
Look at how the characters are introduced. See how the storyline is developed. Watch how conflict impacts the main character and how clues are revealed as the story progresses.
Combining fun with research definitely gives you the motivation to conquer writing fears and laziness.
Become inspired by walking. Do some exercise. Breathe in some fresh air. Get those brain cells pumping. Get your heart racing.
I take long strolls all the time. Where I live it takes about 45 minutes to reach from one end of the road to the next. The beauty of it is that it is private. There isn’t a traffic flow and so I can walk with my pen and paper or just my two hands swinging.
Surrounded by nature helps me to appreciate it more. The trees, mountains, and fruits are an added bonus.
After the fresh country breeze ruffles my hair, my inspiration lits up like a newly lit fire.
You are one long walk away from getting inspired.
Seems pretty straightforward. No one has to tell you how to sleep. I hope not.
But we can tell you what sleeping does. So, what does sleeping do?
Sleeping refuels your idea banks and charges your energy levels.
Have you ever slept and dreamt about something and that became your next novel?
You’re not alone, it has happened to me too. I have literally flown off my bed at 2 in the morning because that’s when inspiration struck.
Another question: Why does inspiration strike at the most inconvenient times? Like it has no regard for our beauty sleep.
It’s not like I mind at the particular moment but then how am I to fall back asleep after that wave of inspiration has passed?
Play a Game/Video games
I stand by this one 100%. I love to play video games. My ultimate fav, SIMS. So I love writing but boy when I get onto that computer and I sims my life away my inspiration flows like a new stream.
I have so many short stories about my sims. They do the most amazing things that your brain would not even think about. I allow my sims to be on auto-pilot and I watch them go and then I write.
I’m going to keep this Sims thing short because I don’t think there are enough books in this world to write the passion that I feel towards Sims. It’s my kryptonite.
Many of my names and personality traits stem from my Sims characters. Their design feature gives a visual into the book you’re writing. The mods allow extra gameplay which is exciting. Okay, I’m going to stop now.
So play some games. Trust and believe me when I tell you they are your ticket to the inspiration bank.
Do you need me to explain this one?
I want to say I have tried this but I won’t lie. The funny thing about this is that you need two things to drive.
A license and a car. And as of this moment, I have neither.
Now I could drive. I could drive stick, automatic and people up a wall. But I’m not legal to do so.
With that being said I have been driven. Scratch that I’m always driven. And every time it’s a new adventure.
At the moment of my writing this, I am being driven. I had a little road trip adventure and well let’s just say the experience is something I am going to be writing about.
So whether it’s you behind the wheel or you’re riding shotgun, a drive can get you inspired.
Grab a Camera/Sketch Pad
If you’re a photographer then grab that camera and have a go at it. Snap some pictures. Use unique techniques and multiple filters to give a range of looks.
And if you’re like me and you like to draw and paint then pick up your artsy utensils and start that picture.
Draw a scene in your book. Paint it. Visualize what takes place there.
Feeling inspired yet? No!
Then let’s do something unconventional.
Argue or Debate
Now, this sounds like Nicole no longer knows what she is talking about. And honestly, I was a little hesitant to put this in as a suggestion. But then this answer came up more than once on the Twitter feed so here it is.
One Twitter user said she debates with her husband to get her thinking and it questions what she already knows. At the expense of the husband.
So the next time you’re looking to get inspired, target your closest family member, start a heated discussion with them and let the inspiration take its course. Use them as research as you monitor their answers and behavior and let them know it’s nothing personal.
This is by far my most favorite, most written go to especially when I don’t have much time.
You can write short stories about anything.
- The womanizer falling in love with his best friend.
- The alien who came to earth to hide from the evil leader.
- The know it all neighbour who is trying to steal the husband.
And the list goes on.
Writing short stories about your side characters are THE BEST. Remember you are doing this for the purpose of finding inspiration to continue that 100,000-page novel that you’re writing.
In my novel Gray Matters, one of my side characters is Rebecca. Everyone calls her Becky.
Now in my head, Rebecca doesn’t like the MC for reasons unknown to the rest of the group. Turns out her reasons were unknown to me too. So one day I decided I was going to get to know Becky better.
I asked questions such as:
Who came up with her nickname in the first place and why?
Does she like her nickname? Why or why not?
What is her family background like?
Does she have siblings?
Moreover, is her career choice acceptable by the rest of the family?
Then I drafted a scene based on those questions. The scene showed what she is like at home and how the rest of the family treats her. Also a scene with her by herself and what she does. I wrote about her extracurricular activities. I wrote about her waking up in the morning on a Saturday and what her routine was like.
All this helped me to understand Rebecca more and I understood why she would have a particular hatred towards Miracle. This being said, while the story is not about the side characters, they are still part of the process.
Benefits of Side-Character Stories
- You get a better insight into your characters and have a knowledge of what they are doing when they are not in a particular scene at the moment.
- It progresses the story. Though you are not adding it to the main story, you now have a well-rounded side character. Whatever they do you now understand why they did what they did.
- In the long run, it makes the story flow. Because now you can refer to an event that took place in the character’s life without having to now think about what happened.
How to Cure Writer’s Block using Writer’s Block Exercises?
Pause And Do Some Research
How do we explain doing research?
Currently, I am editing my first novel which is a Mystery Thriller. My main character suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder which is a mental illness.
When writing mental illnesses caution must be taken because I would not want to insult or put a negative light on the topic. So I did my research.
I made sure that I gave it both a positive and negative light. I did not focus on the negative too much but I gave awareness to the illness.
So research your topic. Get the facts and make sure whatever is being written sheds more positive light on the subject.
Interview a Character
Okay, I must say I am guilty of this and I am proud.
Now, here is something you don’t know about me. I love to have conversations with myself. And I reply.
They say when you reply that’s when you’re considered insane. But we all know what the definition of insanity is. In addition to the fact that all writers are a little crazy. Don’t deny it. We makeup fantasy worlds and write from unique perspectives.
We crazy and we love it.
So now I have said that, let’s interview those characters.
Download the Roadmap to Character Development
Now the various answers can stimulate juice flow – creative juices that is.
Return the Next Day
So we have reached the last. The last tip, the last suggestion, the last resort. When all else has failed we have decided to leave our WIP alone and return tomorrow. And nothing is wrong with that.
So close your laptop, put the pen down and go do something else. Try out one of the many suggestions in this article or don’t.
Whatever the case may be, tomorrow is a different day, with a different perspective and a new set of eyes.
How to Stop Writer’s Block through Writer’s Block Music?
Listen To Music
This is something that is spoken all to well in the writing community. Many persons have different ideas as to how you can use music to inspire your writing.
And one such way is to make soundtracks of your work in progress or W.I.P.
Are you writing a mystery thriller like I am?
So this is probably the most used and oldest form to spark inspiration. And over and over again you may hear people say listen to music. Heck, if you read my other blog posts, music is always a suggestion.
Because it works. But you can use music to spark inspiration in different ways. Today we are going to search for songs that summarize each story.
I use Billie Eilish – Bad Guy to summarize one side of my main character.
I say one side because she has multiple personalities, so I use multiple songs that appeal to her different sides.
Music tells a story. Taylor swift songs talk about heartbreak, so if your character is experiencing heartbreak search through her lists and find one that suits you.
John Legend is all about love. If you are writing a romance then his songs can have an impact, especially if you’re writing from a male perspective. This something you don’t see too often.
Whatever genre you are writing, look for songs with a similar tone and summary.
The Writer’s Block Game.
Have you ever played the boy, girl, animal game? Do you enjoy it? Do you know as writer’s you can use this game to overcome writer’s block?
You didn’t? Well then let me show you.
Boy, girl and animal can be considered your characters in the short story. While the place is the location of where the story takes place or the events unfoldm, like a setting.
Thing is your problem or conflict that needs solving. And just like that, you have the basis for a short story.
This game can be played by yourself or in a group.
Example: I will choose A. A boy’s name starting with A is Anton. A girl’s name is Ariah. If there is an animal or pet with A is an ant. You could be imaginative. The setting where this all takes place can be in Austrailia. And the conflict is that Anton likes Ariah but she doesn’t know and is actually engaged to his bestfriend.
Now it’s your turn.
Below are templates for you to play the game as well as the instructions.
So, that is all I have for you today. As always be sure to share this with your friends because we need more people like you in this world. Please leave your comments letting me know what you think and if you’ve tried any of these suggestions.