When suffering writer’s block, how do I get the story onto the page?
I have a couple of methods I use to cure myself.
The first method I use when I can’t start a chapter/ story and I’m just staring at the blank screen.
This is nearly always because I can’t think of the exact moment in the story where the scene should start. I find that writing something mundane that the character is doing prior to the scene will start me writing and lead me into the bulk of the scene. This slow intro will undoubtedly end up highlighted and deleted during the editing process, leaving me with the moment where the scene really starts.
The second method is when I’m in the middle of the story.
I know when I get writer’s block in the middle my muse isn’t working and either I need a break or I need to kick start it. I always try taking a break first, but if this doesn’t work then I force myself to write and keep writing until it becomes natural and flows again.
I find writing without my inner creativity sparking disconcerting. I doubt every word I write onto the page, but editing is my safety net – it allows this to be fixed. If the worst happens, and the entire passage is worthless, I can delete and rewrite later once my muse has started again.
Thanks to everyone who visited us at EM-CON!
It was great to meet so many aspiring writers and discuss their work. During the day several questions were asked about writing and it became apparent that many of us appear to have the same difficulties. So, I thought I’d use this blog to share some of my experiences and methods to answer these questions. Keep visiting as I’ll be posting a new question regularly and if you have any other questions that you’d like my help with e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
Although I’m sharing my methods all writers are different and conquer these problems in different ways. So why not also seek out other writers’ blogs such as Mark Cassell’s atwww.beneath.co.uk
I find I start a story and then get so many ideas that the plot goes off on a tangent. How do I remedy this?
This is sometimes part of the creative process, you’re still discovering what your story is about or exploring the possibilities it contains. If you are asking yourself this question then you’ve already recognised that the story won’t work with the number of ideas going into it and you’re getting to the stage where you need to consider what your story is about, so… it’s important to think about the overall story, the characters in the story and find which ideas will make the characters shine. All the other ideas can be ignored, deleted or, better still, cut and pasted into another word document to maybe use in your next story.
If you’re not sure which idea to take step away from your story for a day or two, then come back to it. It’s surprising how much such a short break can make on the perspective of the story you’re currently writing.
How do I stop the compulsion to start a new story before finishing the last?
I know this well.
The number of stories I’ve started then placed to one side to do another idea… well countless. Once I stop, finding the protagonist’s voice again is the largest stumbling block and then there is always the temptation of the next idea. This has resulted in my own writing graveyard tucked away on my computer.
I still have these compulsions and still, on occasion, succumb.
To combat the compulsion I keep a pad beside me while I write (pen and paper doesn’t interrupt my typing flow) and I’ll note down everything any new idea prompts – character traits, locations and the general feel. Once this is done I go straight back to the story I’m working on.
Once I’ve completed the current story I have all the ideas I’ve noted down to start the next.
The Em-Con Photos are now posted on Facebook!
Abigale. Photography by John Burrell. Model Harriet Kilgallon-James
Calling all sci-fi writers.
If you have ever wanted to win a writing competition – now’s your chance!
If you enjoy a challenge, can keep to a word count, and be creative with a prompt then read on…
- Your story must be about the discovery of a slick, black orb.
- 500 words only.
- Genre should be sci-fi.
- Closing date is 1st May 2014.
Winners & Prizes
- First place will receive a £50 Amazon Voucher and publication in a Future Chronicles e-zine.
- 4 runners-up will have their stories featured on the website.
For more information and details on how to enter, visit our submission page