As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an editor who writes, which I think helps me identify with my clients and their writing process and concerns. I’ve been on that side of the fence (working on my fifth novel now), and I know what kind of work it takes to complete a whole book.
I also know what it feels like to get writer’s block, to have no clue what should come next, to feel painted into a corner I can’t escape.
Some writers say there’s no such thing as writer’s block. They don’t acknowledge it. They don’t suffer from it. Yay for them, if that’s true. However, I recently suffered from it, so I thought I’d offer you four methods to combat writer’s block whenever you experience it (if you ever do).
- Keep writing. Stay with the same character, continue the scene. Just stay there and keep writing. You will write yourself out of it. Maybe what you write won’t work. Maybe you’ll have to rewrite the whole scene. But just keep writing because if you do, you’ll find your way.
- Switch POVs and/or scenes. If you’ve gotten into a corner with a character and you don’t know where they should go from where you left them, or you don’t like where you left them but you don’t know how to fix that, switch scenes. Leave that trouble spot alone for a bit and write a new chapter focusing on a different scene—a different character if possible. By the time you finish that new scene, you’ll likely know what to do to fix the one that was giving you fits.
- Outline. I’ve been outlining more and more lately, and it’s been helpful. I know some people don’t like it, but when you’re stuck, that black-and-white, methodical, organizational process can help you break out of that jail cell you feel trapped inside. Look at it objectively and just map out what comes next.
- Play the “what-if” game. This can be fun. Brainstorm a bunch of different options for your character. They don’t have to make sense. They don’t have to fit the story.
For example, Continue reading