Tag Archives: writer’s block

Dealing with Writer’s Block #RRBC

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I get the opportunity to host some wonderful authors on tours. I particularly enjoy the posts where they teach us something about the craft of writing. Today, welcome A.M. Manay who is here to discuss Writer's Block.

Bashing Writer's Block by A.M. Manay

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just get stuck. I do some outlining before I begin writing a new book, but I really only have bare bones when I get started. Sometimes characters have their own ideas of where things should go, and it takes some thinking to work it out. Sometimes I can't quite pick out the right path to the next peak in the narrative. I suspect most of us have at least some experience with writer's block. I'd like to share with you some of the strategies that have worked for me in the past.

1) Take a Break

There is value in allowing yourself to take a few days or weeks off to allow your mind to recharge and your energy to return. I hit a mental wall about 3/4 of the way through writing She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2). I gave myself a few weeks over the Christmas holidays to rest and let my mind wander. Somehow, my tangled thoughts worked themselves out, and in January, I was ready to bang out the last 4 or 5 chapters with no problem. There is value in rest.

2) Write something else

Do you have an idea for a short story, poem, blog post, or new series? Take a few hours to explore it and get the juices flowing. Sometimes that is enough to shake things loose on the original project.

3) Write out of order

You have an idea for a cool scene, but your narrative isn't quite there yet, or you don't know quite where to put it? Write it anyway. It will help you clarify your thoughts and help keep the process fun rather than tedious.

4) Try fan fiction

Do you have a favorite book, movie, or television show? Write a story set in that universe. Maybe you won't be able to use it for anything, but you never know what images, personalities, phrases, or arcs you might come up with that you can incorporate into your “real work” later.

5) Talk it out

Sometimes describing your dilemma to a spouse, friend, or fellow writer can make the solution just appear before your eyes. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit. There is value in community, especially the kind of community we have here at the Rave Reviews Book Club.

The next time you're staring blankly at the screen, I hope this list will give you a little push in the right direction. Do you have any tricks of your own for combating this scourge? Share them in the comments!

In addition to her work as an indie author of paranormal fantasy, A.M. Manay is a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a mother through domestic open adoption. She has a passion for increasing diversity in popular culture and for strong heroines who stand up for themselves, make their own decisions, and don't depend on romance as their reason for being.

Author Links for A.M. Manay

Website: www.ammanay.net

Blog: http://ammanaywrites.blogspot.com/

email: author@ammanay.net

Facebook: facebook.com/ammanaywrites

Twitter: @ammanay

Instagram: instagram.com/a.m.manay

Fan email list November's News: http://eepurl.com/bzCa9r

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The opposite of writer’s block

I've been seeing a lot of posts about writers block. Since joining Facebook, I've noticed a few over there too. I'm almost ashamed to say I've never experienced this before.

My critique group brought this up by asking, “Where do you get all these ideas from?” The short answer is my Muse, Lorelei. I believe in my Muse, and trust her. She throws things at me with the idea of seeing what sticks.

My mind looks something like this:

I have more ideas tugging at me than I can use. I've developed yet another living document for short stories. The rare one moves to a novel list. I refer to the list as soon as I finish one of my stories.

Is this a problem? It might be. I have story issues going through my head several stories ahead of where I'm typing. Some of these stories already have characters with traits and quirks. I might be better suited to develop tunnel vision and focus on the story on my iPad. It would probably speed the process up.

Right now, I'm writing a novel called The Yak Guy Project (for now). I'm also writing a retro science fiction story tentatively called Backwater Diner.

While all this is going on, I'm working out some great stuff that will see the return of Jason Fogg in another short story. I might let Jason go, but he's the best character to address a human condition that I want to talk about. His special condition lets him see a part of our makeup that others cannot. In order to do this he needs some fatal flaws to address himself, and I have some decent ideas on that front too.

I also have a great idea that involves a grown up Pete Rogers. Pete was a supporting character from Will O' the Wisp. Apparently all the scary stuff up Bergamot Holler hasn't been addressed yet.

My short story list has 26 items on it. I've already written some, and may never write them all. Newer items will hit the list, and maybe one of those is a better idea.

The plus side is that I can put out another Experimental Notebook eventually. I get to explore more conditions and situations than if I limited myself to novels. I'll need some Macabre Macaroni stories next October, and maybe some of these will fit that bill.

The down side is focus. It's hard to concentrate on Yak Guy and do his research when Jason Fogg is haunting my thoughts.

I'm glad I don't get writer's block, but my mind comes with its own special needs. Does anyone else have this problem, or am I the only one?

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Filed under Writing