Sometimes a scene just won’t come easily. It happens occasionally. Sometimes it happens even on a scene that you know is absolutely necessary. It needs to be in the book. Below are a few suggestions of what sometimes helps me take away that blocking wall brick by brick.
- Come at it from a different viewpoint. Even if it’s something to help you get a better grip on the scene that you don’t plan on using in the final draft. If necessary, you can fix it in the final draft. You might find that the new viewpoint works better than the one you first planned.
- Ask questions of the characters.You might find that something you learn from the answers to the questions reveals a problem with the scene that you didn’t realize was there before.
- Brainstorm or mind map a different way of coming at the scene.
- Freewrite: Just start writing something. Once your fingers are moving. The words might start flowing.
- For a focused version of freewriting, try summarizing the scene. It might let you get past the problem area. The words will begin to flow. Often after a little summarizing, the story will take control and you can finish the scene.
- Skip the scene and go on to the next. You can go back and finish it later.
- Allow the scene to not be perfect. In a paraphrase of a quote: You’re shoveling sand in the first draft. You can make sure it’s a beautiful castle later.
- Step away from the computer or notepad and relax. Go for a walk. Find something that takes your mind off of the problem and allows you to get some distance.
- Try writing in a different place. If you write at a desk, move to another part of the house, outside, or a cafe. (It’s a little cold for outside here, though.)
- Try a different way of writing. If you are on the computer all the time, try a journal or notebook paper. Or you can try a different type of software for a change of pace. Use Word or Scrivener, try google docs or another piece of software.
- Sprints: Writing sprints that is. I can’t recommend these enough. The words build up from writing in short chunks of time that almost anyone can carve out. Tell yourself I’m only going to write for fifteen minutes. Sometimes a short time limit will free you from the tension that might be holding you back.
So there are some of the tips that have helped me get past writer’s block. Do you have any tricks that get you through that wall?