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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Writing Tip: One Way to Tackle Writer's Block

I have a few manuscripts laying around that I started quite some time ago in the rush of a great idea. I'd write on and on and feel like I had wonderful moments of brilliance, and then, my creativity would kind of fizzle away and turn into writer's block.

Most writer's get writer's block. Or so I've heard. And it kind of makes me feel better...that I'm not the only one. It helps me kind of plow back into the land of writing, rather than moping around acting all helpless and all.

I'll share one thing that has helped me along the way--after I've finished perfecting my procrastination efforts. I have a conversation with my protagonist and ask alot of questions. Okay, before you think I'm totally off my rocker, let me explain a little more what this means.

I write down the key personality traits of my protagonist, and make sure I've captured the essence in my writing. I might have to ask a few more questions to better hone in on something. Sometimes all I need to do is tweak a few things about how my protagonist would react to a situation or talk in a conversation, and I'm all set to go again. Because there are certainly times, when my adult reaction is written in, rather than my protagonist's teen view. I also think of how my protagonist views other people or situations and it helps me focus and write again. And then, I have to take another look at what the other characters think about my protagonist.

Once I've finished rewriting a few chapters, I read them. Out loud. Personally, I think there's nothing like reading out loud to catch the various nuances of dialogue, plot development and pacing. It helps me decide whether the writing sounds natural or if it sounds forced and needs a complete overhaul. Which gets me thinking. And back to writing.

What do you do to really tackle writer's block?

2 comments:

Christine M said...

I do something similar, I try to get into my main characters head. Sometimes, when I'm still getting to know a character, I'll have them - okay, really me- write an essay "who am I".

Sometimes when I'm stuck on a particular scene, I just open a new document and decide to write "what happened" - figuring I'll go back and make it sound nice later.

And then sometimes I tackle writer's block by procrastinating. (some methods work better than others)

m. thompson said...

Outside of procrastination. I make a point to put my butt in the chair and write. It's the only way out of writer's block for me.