Writer's Block

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
Richard A Kray
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Writer's Block

Post by Richard A Kray » December 22nd, 2009, 5:25 am

Writer's block. We all know it. We all fear it. We all get it.
Or, at least, most of us do.
I think.

Actually, that's what this thread is about. Those of us that don't get writer's block: what is your secret? Those that do? How do you deal with it?
(I am currently experiencing a bout, if you couldn't tell.)

To answer my own question, I have a very close writing buddy I usually do a brainstorming session with and by the end I feel better. (Unfortunately, she isn't around right now.) Nothing too complicated. No crazy rituals or sacrificing virgins or anything - though I have been known to sacrifice a virgin from time to time for other reasons.
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Holly
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by Holly » December 22nd, 2009, 6:00 am

My way around writer's block is to just keep writing. Let's face it, sometimes writing is enjoyable and sometimes it's like chopping rocks.

I belong to a small writing group that meets every Sunday afternoon. We don't share material, we just bring our own coffee, sit down and write like in study hall way back when in school. It works.

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Holly
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by Holly » December 22nd, 2009, 6:26 am

One more comment. Consider a class or something where you will meet other writers. They will give you a spark. If nothing else, find a trusted writer and exchange chapters through email.

This year I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and went to most of the local write-ins. I didn't try to write a novel in a month, though. I used the write-ins to revise the novel I'm working on now.

I also stayed in contact with five Nanowrimo writers. We plan to meet once a month at a coffee shop and bring four pages of our current works-in-progress (the format: author passes copies around and reads aloud, everybody else reads along, discusses and makes written comments, and then we all return the copies to the author. Like a typical paranoid writer, I refuse to post anything from my novel on internet critique sites, so meeting up with real people works better for me).

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A La Vanille
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by A La Vanille » December 22nd, 2009, 12:30 pm

Is it even possible not to get writer's block?
I wonder...
Me, I'm odd. In the morning well into the evening I have writer's block, in which everything I write is, well, let's just say not pretty. By about 8 PM, it magically vanishes and I write exceedingly well. So, I guess I write better at night. Though currently I'm trying to write during daylight because I find that writing so close to bedtime is lethal. If I can't write, I don't. I go watch an inspirational movie, usually one of the old Disney ones, and try not to think about writing too much. So that when I'm back on the computer, I can write again
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r louis scott
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by r louis scott » December 22nd, 2009, 2:04 pm

I got to meet Bernard Cornwell once.

On the subject of writer's block, he counters by asking if a dentist ever gets dentist's block.

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CharleeVale
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by CharleeVale » December 22nd, 2009, 2:10 pm

I just forced myself to write a scene that I knew had to be written. Once I forced myself back into the head of my character and wallowed around for a little while the block disappeared, but it still wasn't easy. That scene will probably be scrapped, but it got me thinking!

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poptart
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by poptart » December 22nd, 2009, 2:16 pm

l don't get blocked any more, not since I learned that the first draft is meant to be shit, so get it written and don't worry about getting it right. When you go back to it later you will know how to fix it.
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Crystal
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by Crystal » December 22nd, 2009, 2:18 pm

I am struggling with a block right now. My solution was to go back to earlier chapters and see if adjusting anything there could free up my mind for what is to come. So far it is working and I have added about 200 words to my previously blocked chapter. :) Good luck.
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

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shadow
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by shadow » December 22nd, 2009, 3:42 pm

To me writers block is simple writer laziness :)
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SmurfHead
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by SmurfHead » December 22nd, 2009, 4:36 pm

I try not to call it writer's block. It sounds too much like a disease or something. I just say, "I'm having a hard writing day." That way, it seems much more temporary, because (at least to me) it implies that tomorrow stands a good chance of being better.

Also, if I'm having a hard time with a scene, it's usually because there's not enough conflict/stuff happening/cars exploding/kissing in it. Insert one of those things, and usually the writing flows a little better.
"Mind-bottling, isn't it? ...You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?"

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BransfordGroupie
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by BransfordGroupie » December 22nd, 2009, 6:19 pm

SmurfHead wrote:I try not to call it writer's block. It sounds too much like a disease or something. I just say, "I'm having a hard writing day." That way, it seems much more temporary, because (at least to me) it implies that tomorrow stands a good chance of being better.

Also, if I'm having a hard time with a scene, it's usually because there's not enough conflict/stuff happening/cars exploding/kissing in it. Insert one of those things, and usually the writing flows a little better.
Yep, have to agree with you there. My problem is it's more of a bad writing week! And its not just a bad writing week, it's a 'what a load of cr@#' week!
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marilyn peake
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by marilyn peake » December 22nd, 2009, 7:32 pm

Knock on wood, I haven't had any major writer's block for the past decade. When I feel it coming on, I take a break and do lots of fun non-writerly things.
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

Richard A Kray
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by Richard A Kray » December 22nd, 2009, 9:29 pm

BransfordGroupie wrote:
SmurfHead wrote:I try not to call it writer's block. It sounds too much like a disease or something. I just say, "I'm having a hard writing day." That way, it seems much more temporary, because (at least to me) it implies that tomorrow stands a good chance of being better.

Also, if I'm having a hard time with a scene, it's usually because there's not enough conflict/stuff happening/cars exploding/kissing in it. Insert one of those things, and usually the writing flows a little better.
Yep, have to agree with you there. My problem is it's more of a bad writing week! And its not just a bad writing week, it's a 'what a load of cr@#' week!
I try to do that too, actually. And what scene couldn't be improved in any book at any time by making a car explode? It sure would liven up all those books we were forced to read in college and high school. (The Pearl comes to mind, which I had to read in 8th grade, I think. "I've lost everything because I've been after this pearl and...HOLY SHIT, was that a car exploding?" See what I mean? Better already.)
- Richard A. Kray
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BransfordGroupie
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by BransfordGroupie » December 22nd, 2009, 10:01 pm

Richard A Kray wrote:
BransfordGroupie wrote:
SmurfHead wrote:I try not to call it writer's block. It sounds too much like a disease or something. I just say, "I'm having a hard writing day." That way, it seems much more temporary, because (at least to me) it implies that tomorrow stands a good chance of being better.

Also, if I'm having a hard time with a scene, it's usually because there's not enough conflict/stuff happening/cars exploding/kissing in it. Insert one of those things, and usually the writing flows a little better.
Yep, have to agree with you there. My problem is it's more of a bad writing week! And its not just a bad writing week, it's a 'what a load of cr@#' week!
I try to do that too, actually. And what scene couldn't be improved in any book at any time by making a car explode? It sure would liven up all those books we were forced to read in college and high school. (The Pearl comes to mind, which I had to read in 8th grade, I think. "I've lost everything because I've been after this pearl and...HOLY SHIT, was that a car exploding?" See what I mean? Better already.)
The Pearl sounds a lot more interesting than The Mango Tree. I have to thank my 9th grade teacher for introducing me to my favorite genre with A Stranger Came Ashore.
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Richard A Kray
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Re: Writer's Block

Post by Richard A Kray » December 22nd, 2009, 10:16 pm

[quote= I try to do that too, actually. And what scene couldn't be improved in any book at any time by making a car explode? It sure would liven up all those books we were forced to read in college and high school. (The Pearl comes to mind, which I had to read in 8th grade, I think. "I've lost everything because I've been after this pearl and...HOLY SHIT, was that a car exploding?" See what I mean? Better already.)[/quote]

The Pearl sounds a lot more interesting than The Mango Tree. I have to thank my 9th grade teacher for introducing me to my favorite genre with A Stranger Came Ashore.[/quote]

It's cliche, but my favorite high school books were Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders. In grade school, I remember liking Maniac Magee and The Witches. All four of those would definitely benefit from some car explosions, though.
- Richard A. Kray
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