Sunday, January 17, 2010

tips: writer's block

When I was in grad school, we had to write a novel in 2 years and about 30 pages a month. There was no time for writer's block. So these are ideas we passed around to keep from flunking out.

- Retype your last page

- Create a playlist or Pandora channel of music that's suited to your story, genre, or character. Create several for different points in your story or book.

- Write anything for ten minutes. Don't edit. Just type. Look back over what you're written and find something to go with.

- Warm up each writing session with a fifteen minute freewriting session - something not related to your project. Prompts are good for this. It takes the pressure off and gets you in the writing mindframe.

- Have a work area and work there every day.

- Leave your work area and go somewhere else: outside, a coffee shop, the library, a diner. Bring headphones. 

- Use story mapping software like Freemind to see your ideas in one place.

- Think about why you're having a hard time writing something. Do you really want to write this? Does it not fit the story? If writing a certain character or scene is a chore, it may be a chore for your readers, too. (Did we really need all that Quidditch, JK?)

BTW: Did someone tell you that writing was about artistry and being inspired all the time? It's not. Ideas are easy, anyone can have ideas. Writing is the work of making something out of those ideas. If you're not working like it's 4 am and your paper is due at 9, you're not writing.

1 comment:

Temma said...

I think that having a work area really helps. In my old apartment, I knew that when I moved my laptop to a different table, it was time to write... It probably helped that the wifi didn't reach that spot in the apartment, too.