In this post I am going to address the notion of writer’s block.
In all honesty I don’t actually get full blown writers block.
I write every day. I am always journalling, blogging, scribbling,
pondering, musing, reflecting, or working out something on paper.
Writing is how I clear my mind, and make sense of the world.
It’s a habit I guess.
However–I do get Writer’s Delay.
I do reach a point where I hit the fabled brick wall.
I stop. I agonize. I worry. I get depressed.
I want to quit- throw in the towel.
I tell myself horrible things and predict dire circumstances for myself.
None of this is useful of course, but luckily I don’t spend a lot of time on this phase.
Eventually I ask myself where do I go from here?
Thing is–I am rarely able to answer this question.
Where do I go from here? It’s not a helpful question.
It is what I call a bewildering question.
A better question is What does my character want right now?
Or What is getting in the way of what my character wants right now?
What is she going to do to get past the obstacle right now?
Sometimes I go deeper– and I ask Why does my character want what she wants,
Or how desperate-how driven, is she to get what she wants right now?
Is she hiding what she wants from herself? Is it a secret?
What will it cost her if she doesn’t succeed? What will she stand to lose?
Has she admitted to herself or anyone else what she really truly wants?
How does, what she wants, affect her?
Does she think she deserves what she wants?
Does it drive her insane?
Is it killing her to not get it?
Or one of my favourites–What is she willing to do? To sacrifice?
Who is she willing to hurt, maim or kill?
What is she willing to risk, or lose or destroy?
Do you see what I mean?
Do you see how all these questions focus the story,and move it forward?
Do you see how these kind of questions enliven your imagination?
Do you see how can amplify and intensify the action of the story?
These are the good questions, that will help me write a more compelling story, and better dialogue.
So there you have it. My #1 Magic Cure for Writer’s block or writers Delay.
Ask Good Questions.
Sometimes my plot, theme, and everything else will emerge from these questions.
If I am at the wall, it’s because I have forgotten the questions or I need to ask them again.
Ok Now maybe you are not at the place where you think you even know what to write about.You are not ready to ask what your character wants, because you don’t really knowwho your character is. Or maybe you have an idea but you don’t know what to do with it? It’s a idea that is getting dirty with waiting.
Sometimes I haven’t got a clue what to write about, and I am sure I have
an inferior imagination, or that I lack the intelligence that a writer needs–
see yesterdays post here
and other times I have so many ideas clamouring for my attention–
that I can’t decide what to write about.
So next time I will share what I do when either of these things happen.