I’ve heard a lot of questions from people on different forums questioning how to deal with writers block and thought I would throw my two cents into the mix. So far in my short time of writing of two and a half years I haven’t really run into this, but not because I haven’t shared that feeling that so many other writers get. I think this is because of how I plan out my stories and how I deal with that initial “writer’s block” feeling.
I’ve read many articles on writing styles. The two main agreed upon division lines are that people a planners or creators. Planners typically plan their whole world out ahead of time before they write, while creators make up the story as they go creating everything on the fly. I myself do both when I write a story. This flexibility I think helps me deal with situations where I could be hit by writer’s block. Typically I do a whole outline for the individual book I’m sitting down to write. In some spots this outline can be extremely detailed, but mostly for me it’s just the general flow of the events of the story, main plot lines I’m planning on following and approximately where I want my book to wrap up at when I write “The End”.
Another thing I do to help deal with “writer’s block” is to just start writing the chapter I’m struggling over. This can happen where I’m struggling with how to start a certain chapter or I’m struggling on getting the correct flavor. Just writing the general thoughts down that I have in my head, even if it flows terrible, is enough to get me started. It breaks me out of that jammed place I’m stuck in and then either I continue onto the next chapter or I go back to the place I was stuck in and start tweaking it until it flows right. Actually either way I end up going back to it to fix it up, but it doesn’t have to be right away. Usually when I go to sit down to write I read the chapter before to get pick up the flow of where I was at and many times I start smoothing out that rough chapter. So far I haven’t been forced to completely re-write one of these chapters … well not entirely. Sometimes you don’t know if something is too much or too long until you get it down on paper and have your friends check it out.
Lastly, I find a lot of ideas from watching TV Series, reading my favorite authors and watching Movies, along with looking at digital art from graphic artists across the web. Even from friends as we discuss different plot ideas for the story. I usually keep my mind open to different ideas and ways to flavor my own story and make it better. Many of these ideas help to add to my current story outline to make the individual plot lines more detail and realistic. This is not stealing ideas. Your ideas in your head are yours and yours alone, but you can always pick up additional concepts to enhance your story and characters within it.
Okay, that’s about it. My family is chomping at the bit for me to get moving, but before I go, I want to make one last comment on World Building. I am no expert on how many writers fall into each category and I know many “world building” writers that takes years upon years to create their world and then have moved on to become very successful, but I find this very hard to do solely. Much of my worlds are build from dreams I’ve always had over my life, and although these different worlds have been with me forever. I have not sat down and actually created the world in detail. I tend to do this when it is required detail for the story. This even includes adding in non-main characters. I consider them similar to extras in a movie. There are many times that you run into characters that you need to pull up and give brief detail to flesh out the story, but it is not something you need to plan down to the last remote detail before you ever sit down to write your story. I am so careful about “NOT” doing this, mainly because I love story planning. I have spent years planning different aspects of words that I like, but then I never actually simply write the story. I think this can become a trap for many writers. We get so hung up on the details that we never actually take that first step and begin writing. As I write my stories I have discovered that suddenly in a scene I need a squad or two of soldiers, or maybe I need three squad cars with an officer in each. Unless they add something to the overall story, I don’t worry about documenting their characters in the story, unless it’s needed. Also, many of your characters take on their own life in many ways that you have to tweak parts of your story to fit their growing character development. Planning that ahead of time is not always possible.
Ha, well not a short “one last note”. Talk later…