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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 11/6/2008 3:04 PM PST
These are fantastic tips, thank you. :)
Posted: 10/29/2008 9:27 PM PST
When you are experiencing writer's block and you have a bit of a theatrical flair (odds are, if you're writing fiction, you do have something somewhere), here's something that you can do that should get you revved up and writing.
1. The first step is to stop concentrating on that "uh...." feeling. Just say to yourself, "I don't have to come up with anything right now, I'm just going to enjoy what I've already written."
2. If you have already written part of your piece, and there is a section in there that you absolutely love, just think about that scene as if you were your character, and just mentally act it out (or verbally, if that's your forte). Or, if you're just starting your story, think about another character belonging to another author, and pick a scene that excites you, and become that character. Change the scene as you go along to what you would have the character do (we're not going to write this scene, it's just to get the juices flowing.) Or take some of those later-in-the-story scenes that you imagine sometimes and just immerse yourself in them.
3. Allow yourself to get passionate about the scene, and just imagine some other ways that that scene could go, and take down some rough notes on it (don't try to flesh it out yet unless you're desperate to, everything should be as easy as possible at this moment). You might get some ideas that you could use for future scenes in your story.
4. You don't always have to write in chronological order. You can write individual scenes that inspire you, and when you're not feeling quite so stuck, you can connect the scenes and edit them to fit the story or cut them out. If it's a certain scene that you're stuck on, skip that for the moment and write the scene that you're inspired about. Then, if you feel like it, you can go back and write the scene you were having a hard time with. Or, you can just keep ignoring it, and write ahead.
5. However, if you feel like you absolutely must write that problem scene right now, you can try this: Just sit back, and analyze what you want the scene to be and to accomplish. Think of as many details as you possibly can and jot them down. Think of elements that you'll have to include to further the plot, and jot those down as well. Think of the emotions you want your character to feel during the course of this scene, and write them. Have some things that you want someone to say in the scene? Write them down too. You get the idea. You'll probably end with a semi-disorganized mess, but you can arrange them in the order that you want them, and find a jumping off point for your imagination, and step into your character's perspective for a while and see what will come up next. If you can't find a jumping off point, analyze a bit closer, and see if you can find one then. If not, then just grit your teeth, write something horrible and slipshod that performs at least one of the things that you want the scene to accomplish, then go back and edit until the scene is to your liking.
You don't have to be an actor to do this, just be passionate about what you're writing. Whenever I write something that I really, really like, I find it difficult not to relive the scene over and over again, often with several changes that I later include. These changes can be jumping off points for your imagination for other scenes.
Those are my tips :)