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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 9/24/2008 7:58 AM PDT
I've noticed a trend on this forum of writers claiming they're blocked even though they "know what comes next." This makes me suspect that one of the biggest causes of writing block is thinking you know what comes next, and trying to stick to that rigidly, even if it's not right for your characters or their situation. RF_Cope's example of throwing out the outline and choosing not to kill his character is a great example of this.
Posted: 9/23/2008 5:04 PM PDT
Melissa's idea of having a dialogue with the character is really good.
I was blocked for a year on a project - I knew what the outline said - but couldn't write it. I finally threw out the outline and wrote what I felt. After 2 hours the character was alive. This changed the whole project. I had to find a place for her, and the evil character who was to kill her was redefined as well. The project changed from a simple adventure story to a robust tale of action, romance and redemption. Not killing her was the best thing I never did in writing.
Take a few hours and 'just write' see where characters take you
Posted: 9/23/2008 11:52 AM PDT
Thank you for this, it's really got me less afraid of the spurts of writing I do have. It is easier to fix what's actually down.
Posted: 9/23/2008 11:49 AM PDT
That sounds like it would be interesting. Do think I'll be trying this, thank you for the suggestion!
Posted: 9/23/2008 8:12 AM PDT
Try having one of your characters talk to you. Literally. Get out a piece of paper and start a conversation with one of your characters.
"Hey, Boffo, what's up?"
"Not too much, Norux. To tell you the truth, it's kind of cold out here on the Ruvien Fields today. I wish I could just go back to Lavine Hall, curl up with a nice, warm bearskin, and stay inside until the winter's over."
"That sounds nice. But wouldn't you get lonely?"
"Oh, see, that's the thing. I wouldn't be alone. I guess you haven't heard that Lula and I have sort of been...spending time together lately. Oh, I know what you're thinking. She's my father's third wife, and she's twenty years older than me. I know she's not the kind of girl I usually go for, but I think we've got something special."
"Really? Sounds amazing. Why don't you tell me about it?"
"Well, it all started about two months ago, the night of the big Glargeral hunt..."
Yes, it sounds silly...that's the idea. Break yourself out of the habit of taking your writing too seriously. If you feel like your characters are "coming to life," let them tell their stories directly to you. Then you can decide what you want to do with those stories -- re-tell them in a different narrative voice, re-structure them, develop your character further as a narrator, whatever.
Writing isn't ALWAYS fun. But it should be fun, most of the time. Not just for the sake of fun itself, but because that part of you that has fun with it is also the part of you with the best imagination.
Posted: 9/23/2008 5:20 AM PDT
Just write it down. Write down exactly what you see in your head even if it makes you want to retch. Later on when you look back at your work you can worry about the editing. Trust me this really helps. A piece of crappy writing can be improved upon any time but a blank page is just that- a blank page.
EXAMPLE WITH WRITER'S BLOCK
Boris walked into the room. He shut the door behind him. It was a red door. He walked towards a chair. He sat down on the chair. The chair was green.
AFTER EDITING SOME OTHER TIME IN THE FUTURE
Boris hesitantly pushed open the flaking, carmine door and stepped into the room, moving silently across the plush carpet to sit on a thick, leather chair the colour of pine needles.
Posted: 9/23/2008 5:10 AM PDT
How does one get past a hesitation, after few month block? I do have the want to write again but still am so nervous about it, and this seems to have gotten to be a problem of its own.
I keep telling myself that 'it's the first draft, edits and revisions can smooth it out' and such as that, it just doesn't seem to help.
It's like the characters in my mind are active again, I just can't get their actions written down.
Are there suggestions to beat this?