Yesterday I told a friend some tricks I use to try and bash my way through writer’s block. I thought I’d post them on here. It’s common sense, but I hope it helps kickstart someone’s creativity. I’m also posting it as a way to remind myself as I enter a tricky area of my WIP over the next few days. A lot of the time these work, but I’m also very good at ignoring them sometimes and mewling pathetically in the corner instead.
1. Switch mediums. If the blank screen is frightening, I switch to pen and paper. It’s easier to trick myself that it doesn’t count–that it’s okay if the scribbles are ugly because they’re just scribbles. It has the added bonus of not having the distraction of the internet.
2. Skip the damn scene. I’m a chronological writer, but I’m learning that sometimes there are points in the first draft where you don’t know the best way for things to come together yet. Sometimes I skip a scene for a few days and it’s easier to come back to it after the distance and spending time with the characters in the future.
3. Skip fiddly details. My first drafts have a fair amount of notes in square brackets. Sometimes it’s notes of things to research, but I don’t want to break the flow to do so. Or I’ll write notes about the actual writing, such as [hot damn, purple prose much?], as a humourous reminder that that paragraph really sucks and will need rewriting later on.
4. Write around the scene. If I’m really stuck, I’ll start writing behind the scene–why is this scene important to the book? What does each character want and need? What obstacles do they face? Is there a tidbit of research or a different setting that might bring it to life?
5. Step away, come back. Sometimes you need the distance–a day or two away from the manuscript, turning things about in your mind, living life, relaxing, and coming back to it fresh.
I anticipate reading this entry a lot over the next few days. Heh.