Writer’s Block.

We’ve all been there at least once;

You’re trying to write something, you already have the image of the scene in your head, but you just can’t translate thought into key strokes or pen motions.
Trying to force it produces terrible abominations, causing you to get angry, and sometimes you decide to trash the entire thing in frustration(Never actually deleted a draft, but frustration and anger were a-plenty).

Eventually, the block spreads from your hands to your head, even blocking the view of the story-verse you’ve created, like storm clouds blotting out the sky.

Since I’ve started writing, I’ve only found two ways to overcome Writer’s Block, and I’d like to share them with you, dear readers, in hopes that it might someday help you:

1) And this is an actual cure, not just a treatment of symptoms.
Get miserable;
Not a feeling you can fake easily, but if you succeed, you can clear everything, and the story floods the pages, flowing as if a dam broke somewhere.
I’ve found that you can get that feeling by ignoring all the good stuff that’s happening around the world, and focusing on the bad(Not that hard, since sob stories sell newspapers WAY better than happy stories like “Tom, the boy who lost both legs in a car accident, climbed Mt Everest.”
In short, you must become a cynical, pessimistic person.
The best way to get miserable though, is to have some sort of personal tragedy:
An old pet needs to be euthanized, a relative passing away, or getting dumped by someone you’ve had personal feelings for.
Misery and Despair are the artist’s most beautiful muses. If you encounter them, you will be able to write, and, even if it’s a happy tale, it will be written beautifully.
Nothing beats Misery and Despair in terms of inspiration.
Unfortunately, once they leave you, you will once again, experience Writer’s Block.

2) A way to treat the symptoms, not an actual cure.
Put the draft in a drawer(In case you’re writing it on paper with a pen or pencil), or some folder far, far away from the main screen(In case you’re writing on a computer), and just let it simmer for a few days or weeks(Two, three weeks is the best time for me, but it should vary from person to person).
Once it’s simmered, and it’s out of your mind completely, take it out, and re read first all the notes about the world(In case you’ve managed to forget the setting), and then re read the story, from start to the point you’ve stopped at.
This should set you back on the track you’ve been walking when you started, and strayed off at some point during the telling.

3) Not an actual treatment, but it does work from time to time(Most effectively used when it’s the second or later book in a series, and the character’s been present in at least some way during at least 15% of the story so far. So the longer the story, the minor the character could be, but still have a 15% appearance)
Decide to kill a character, and then write the story leading up to the death of that character(The build up should be no longer than a chapter or a chapter and a half).
By the time you reach that character’s dying breaths, you’ll be back on track, able to write again, and you’ll even get a choice:
Save the character, or let that character die, because death would drive the story better than if the character would survive.
For a better effect(and extending the build up to around 3 chapters) kill off a main support:
Like one of the character’s hope for a better life(Example: Sirius Black in HP), or a teacher of sorts that helped the protagonist(Even if it was mainly behind the scenes. Examples: Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore in HP, or… Brom in the Inheritance cycle)

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
Tell us in the comments section!

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2 Responses to Writer’s Block.

  1. Great article. I especially like the idea of “killing off” the character. Something I learned from Chuck Palahniuk is you can change the character’s name. Sometimes it shifts their identity just enough to help you move on. Also, don’t be afraid to just wreak havoc on your character’s lives.

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