Artifact: House on Druid Lane is just sitting there on my hard drive and I can’t freaking shake a stick at it now! I just hate when it happens!
Ugh, I hear ya. Writer’s Block often seems to hit at the worst of times.
Whenever it hits me, though, I usually leave the work in question alone for a bit and do something else. Usually, after a bit, having been separated from the work for a while, idea’s start to flow and the work commences.
In my experience, at least…
Giving it a little break sometimes helps.
I don’t always have that option, especially on work projects, so here’s what I do instead: treat the writing as a design problem.
- Write down a list of things that the story is still missing, or that I think aren’t working properly. Like this: “Needs a stronger hook to get the reader interested in the mystery of Clare’s identity” or “Pacing lags right after the mugging scene” or “Coffee shop setting feels too generic.”
- Be as specific as possible, as though I were explaining these problems to some third party who is going to come help me out. Frequently, identifying the problem gives me at least an idea about what the solution could be.
- If the problem has to do with content – lack of good imagery and local color – figure out some related topics and spend an hour or so on internet research on those topics. Often something I see will spark a new concept.
- Once I know roughly what the solution is that I want to try, dive back into the writing. Sometimes I still haven’t come up with the best possible structure/content, but I won’t know what’s wrong with my new idea until I’ve spent some time with it.
I only seem to get writers block when things start to not make sense to me or conflict, in that case I also use a sort of “listing” method as Emily mentions.
Hm, that’s actually a really good idea, emshort. Thank ya!
Next I’m hit with the dreaded writer’s block, I’ll give that a shot. [i](even though I write recreationally…)