One of my G+ homeys asked for some writing tips the other day, namely advice for combating writer’s block. I chimed in with my own advice (just one nugget of it, but still) and it got me thinking that I might as well write a post on the subject. Perhaps it will help you as you fight the word dragon who threatens to keep all of those luscious verbs and adjectives locked away in the dark cave of mediocrity. Or something…
Anyway, here are a few suggestions that may help you out:
Let the Music Flow
Some writers work with music on the entire time they write, and others find it to be a distraction. Regardless of the type of writer you are, music can help. Crank the tunes up and dance around your home office or program some tracks that put you in a certain mood. One of my tricks is to imagine what one of mycharacters might think of the song that’s playing. Imagine two of them dancing to it – or having a dance-off to it. Need to write a creepy scene? Put on creepy music. Need to write a fight scene? Hard rock, baby.
Just Start Writing
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re saying: “I have writer’s block! Keep writing? Are you crazy?” Me being crazy has nothing to do with it. The answer is simple: Yes, keep writing. If you need to start new, try some free-association or stream of consciousness writing. Just start with the first thing that pops into your brain, whether it’s the mood you’re in or the weather outside. Start describing something. Even if you write a bunch of disjointed sentences, they’ll start to come together after a few minutes and you’ll get those creative juices going again.
Imagine Your Characters
I like to think of a situation my characters might be in: a fight, checking out at the grocery store, walking their dog. How would they do it? What would they be thinking? Would they like that song on the radio? Would they scoff at the books sitting on the corner of your desk? When you understand your characters better, you understand what you’re trying to write.
If All Else Fails: Walk Away From It
For a while, not forever. Go for a walk, do the dishes, watch “The Vampire Diaries” (mmm…Damon…). Get away from it for a bit and then come back and try again.
Sometimes the answer is just to push through it. I know you may not want to hear that, but it’s still the answer. Sometimes we just have to suck it up and write. I have a short passage in my current manuscript that is little more than bare bones narrative because I had a little writer’s block gnome sitting on my shoulder, but the passage immediately after it is juicy and wonderful. I can go back and put some meat on those bones, but if I hadn’t kept at it, I wouldn’t have that juicy prime rib paragraph at the end.