UNBLOCKING WRITER'S BLOCK

Here are some notes from my workshop on unblocking writer's block. Remember, this is the short version. If you are interested in having me teach this session at a writers' conference, please contact me.

Unblocking Writer's Block

Common advice is to clear the writing area of distractions. To just write and don't edit.

The problem is not usually that the writer can't get past the need to perfect what is done. More usually, the root of the problem of writers block is wanting to write, but nothing is exciting enough to come out.

Put value back into the void by giving your book a Kick Start.

First - summarize your story in 10 words or less. I don't mean a back cover blurb. Write a one or two sentence movie blurb like you read in the paper. It's a lot of work, but if you can't do it, or you're really struggling, that means you haven't got your story nailed down in your brain, and that could be why it's not happening when you want to write. Nail it down enough to know whit it is you're writing.

Know your High Concept. Write it down on a post-it and READ it. It keeps you focused.

Write down character traits of your hero and heroine, and a few minor characters as well. Maybe you can't write about them because you don't know them well enough. Even if you are a bad artist like me, draw them. What's important? What makes that person pretty/handsome or dog ugly? (I am a dog lover so I don't think many dogs are ugly. That's just a bad expression)

Do you know your story goal, and inner and exterior conflicts of you major characters?

Maybe your story is blocked because you don't have enough happening in your story besides your upcoming black moment, to keep it interesting. If you aren't interested, your reader isn't going to be interested either. Kick it up a notch or ten. Whatever bad thing has happened, make it worse.

Or maybe you've got your story in the wrong setting. If your characters want a sweet treat and they want to go buy chocolate bars while walking through the middle of a national park, complete with hotdog and hamburger cars and cotton candy vendors, so what? But what if your hero is diabetic and has just had his car break down on the wrong side of town in the middle of the night, and he needs to get a chocolate bar really fast or go into a diabetic coma? Maybe you need to kick-start your setting.

Of maybe it's not that bad. Sometimes all you need to do is stop writing, delete what you've got done of your current scene, and write it from the head of a different POV characters. Sometimes a different perspective change the focus and intensity of a scene.

These are just a few things that  can help to unblock your writer's block. I hope some of them work for you.

Good luck and happy writing.

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