In my experience, writer’s block comes in two forms: the kind where you don’t know what to write and the kind where you know what to write but you don’t know how. Neither are fun!
Here are some tips, tricks and writing exercises to get you flowing again:
Almost all characters have some history and backstory. You probably already have a good idea of some of the events which have shaped your characters before your story begins, influencing how they think, act and make decisions. If you’re feeling a little rusty or uninspired, then treat it as an opportunity to go behind the scenes and spend quality time developing your characters and their voices.
Pick out a defining moment in the life of one of your characters before the point in time where your story starts. You can pick any character, it doesn’t have to be your protagonist. Now write a scene telling the story of that moment. Perhaps the birth of a child, the death of a relative or a break up; maybe your character was in an accident or once experienced a random act of kindness. It could be a big event or something really small, as long as it somehow influences who your character will become.
This scene is not intended to make it into your main narrative, so relax! You can write in any tense and style and it doesn’t have to be your best work; this is just for you. Once you’ve warmed back up on a lost scene, you’re ready to jump back into your main storyline - with the added benefit of knowing one of your characters a little better.
The Talking Cure
Ever heard of talking yourself out of trouble? Or talking something through? Have you ever tried talking yourself out of writer’s block?
You don’t need a dictaphone for the talking cure (but you could use one if you wanted to!) as most phones come pre-loaded with voice recording software; if not, you should be able to download something for free from your app store.
You can use the talking cure to help write a tricky scene or help plot out a narrative. Set your recorder going and tell your story; if you need to change something, just retell that part on the spot and keep going. It might feel a bit weird at first but hang in there, it gets easier!
Talking through your chapter, scene or arc might be all that you need. Alternatively, plug in a pair of earbuds and transcribe your voice notes, redrafting as you go. This is also a great way to make time to write if you struggle to find time, as you can craft or plan your story while you cook, walk the dog or do your laundry.
Look out for more block busting tips and tricks on the Plot Factory blog in the near future. In the meantime, if you successfully try one of our block busting strategies, we’d love to hear from you. Hop on over to our Discord server or leave us a comment and tell us all about it...
Feeling inspired? Log into your Plot Factory dashboard now and start writing!
Cover image: Lisa Fotios from Pexels