One of the scariest things a writer can face is the dreaded writer’s block. It doesn’t matter where you are in your manuscript; the block can be daunting. You have a terrific idea for a book. It’s been rolling around in your head for a while. The time has come to set it down on paper. You set up your writing space, turn off the phone, do all the neat little things that are part of your writing habits. The blank computer screen stares at you, daring you to begin. Your hands hover over the keyboard. Nothing happens. The longer you stare at the screen, the more unsettled you become. Your great idea hangs like a stone around your neck.
Perhaps you have reached a vital point in your story. It might be a transition, an epiphany, a point you’ve been eager to reach. You just can’t get the words together. Or is this the conclusion? The last few paragraphs before you type The End.
Writer’s Block is not insurmountable. Most writers face it sooner or later. Many writers have suggestions for getting past those frustrating moments. We’ve all heard them. Take a walk, listen to music, meditate, watch a movie or read a book. The truth is the best cure for writer’s block is to write. Maybe you like to journal. Perhaps you blog or make notes about future projects. Do you write book or movie reviews? Whatever your side gig is, this is the time to pull it out. What you write doesn’t have to relate to your current project. Just write. Have you recently had a weird dream? Write it down. Are you planning a vacation or have you just returned from one? Write your itinerary or write about something you saw or did on your trip.
One of my favorite things to do to break the block is to write out an argument with one or more of my characters. If I can’t get my protagonist to bend to my will, I launch a no holds barred attack on him/her.
Many writers will use writing prompts to get those imagination juices flowing freely once more. This is a good way to overcome the block. The prompt doesn’t have to relate to your project. In fact, it’s usually better if it doesn’t. There are websites that list writing prompts. Don’t be picky about which one you choose. This is only supposed to get you writing. (If you’re lucky it might lead to a new story idea you can store away for the future.) Some prompts are pictures that require you to write about the action you imagine is taking place. Here are a few of both kinds that you might find useful.
“Sometimes you have to do something wrong to get what you need.”
“I hesitated as my hand reached for the door wondering if it was locked.”
“It was the most difficult decision I ever had to make.”
“He knew my answer before I spoke.”
“They found something.”
Some useful sites.