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Workshop Writers workshop: challenge yourself and your imagination here.

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Old 11th June 2011, 11:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

I think a brisk walk clears and refreshes the mind. Also, for me, a spot of research in the library often seems to open up some new avenues of thought and can lead to solutions to knotty problems.

In general terms, I do agree that preventation is better than cure. Proper planning in advance can stop that horrible feeling of just being stuck or lost (trust me, I know from painful experience!). I also find that a regular writing routine works best. Like most of us on this board I guess, I work fulltime and have a family, so writing in small but daily chunks seems to push things along and keeps the concentration focused.

And try to be relaxed about it. Writing is hard, like anything that's worthwhile in life, but stick with it, push through (and learn from) the tough times and you will get it done.
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Old 14th June 2011, 09:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

They say Isaac Asimov kept 4 typewriters in his office and had a different story going in each one of them. When he ran out of ideas for whatever story he was working on, he'd move to another typewriter and work on that story, and so on. I've been tempted to try that, but have never got around to doing so. Now, I suppose it would be having 4 different computers in your office. Still, the idea of working on another story until you have fresh ideas or a new perspective on your first story isn't a bad one.
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Old 13th August 2011, 05:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

I find that writing something else, like a short story or character sketch works and frees up the mind of stuff that's cluttering up the mind.
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Old 13th August 2011, 09:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

The key is not to get it. I don't get it if I move the story towards the end every day. So I try to do that.

I'm not exactly great at avoiding it though. So I find coffee helps in those situations.
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Old 19th September 2011, 10:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

(Please refrain from any tempting innuendo)

I find that a shower is quite helpful. It may sound odd but it works for me. The solitary process of enjoying a hot shower for some reason gets my imagination working in overdrive. I start playing out scenarios in my novel or exploring the characters within those scenarios. Itís relaxing and stimulating at the same time.

In fact, during one shower I managed to come up with an entire story arc for what could play out into four or five novels.
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Old 24th September 2011, 04:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

Writer's block occurs more often than I care to admit, but I also consider writer's block to be not necessarily what should happen next, but how it should happen. "What should they say?" "What should thier actions be?" "Who should be a part of the primary action of this chapter?"

And truthfully it can be a bother. Curing Writer's block for me involves just doing my daily chores or my work, or whatever and thinking only about the action at hand. Something needs to happen. There has to be a conflict, but HOW? Should it lead up with a lesson learned conversation, or should the chapter just begin with the conflict?

Unfortunately, I cure writer's block with time. Time is the best remedy.
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Old 27th September 2011, 04:22 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

Evelinn,

Music, watch a good sci-fi movie, read a book. There is also a technique which helps to relax the brain and get thoughts flowing again, it can also be a little fun. It is called 'Chain of Thought Poetry'.

The rules are that you can not pause, even for a second, to actually THINK about what you are writing, you simply write exactly the word in your head that second and keep the words flowing no matter what. The finished product may not make any sense whatsoever, but it does help to stimulate more flowing thought.

For instance I'll quickly write one here (you can either write it on the computer key board or on paper):

In the beginning there was the word, and the word was good because when it got around that the dog from Otter Creek had run away then the people jumped up from their beverages ran out and began looking for the mutt which was actually sitting up a tree branch panting away and watching for the eagle that was his friend. The eagle, however was away with the fairies searching for a nest that was below the ground, somewhere near Hel, but again in the ice pole of the southern quadrant he sat with the weapon resting on his shoulder and a grin cracking his face.

You get the idea, doesn't make much sense, but it is all about flowing thought (and the big part is you can not stop to actually think about what you are writing...just write!)

Give it a go.
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Old 12th December 2011, 05:58 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatollie View Post
The key is not to get it. [...] I find coffee helps in those situations.
Yes! This.

I'm not entirely sure true writer's block exists. If you force words out of yourself they might be terrible but they're something to work with, and one of the things I like to have most in a manuscript is words. Plus, if you ever end up as a professional, you'll have deadlines; these mean that you can't afford to have writer's block.

I find that my biggest tools against it are:
1. Editing -- I'll sit with a manuscript and copyedit what I've already written, like a runner doing a warmup. Then I'll just copyedit off the end of the page.
2. Coffee! -- Black as the bottom of the sea.
3. Stubbornness

Last edited by notveryalice; 12th December 2011 at 05:59 PM. Reason: adding more paragraph spaces
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Old 12th December 2011, 08:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

Quote:
Originally Posted by notveryalice View Post
I'm not entirely sure true writer's block exists.
O, the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there

Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Old 13th December 2011, 01:50 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Judge View Post
Hold them cheap/ May who ne'er hung there
Beg pardon -- I have hung there, and frequently, too. I just have this sinking suspicion I could have written something if I'd been more strict with myself, or less afraid of writing something awful.

Edit: what lovely poetry!
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Old 6th April 2012, 03:36 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

What i do when i have writers block is pull out some old stuff I put aside and redo it in first person while honing it then convert it to close third. Read it out loud and if it still sounds as bad as it was before I burn that copy and then just get back to work.
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Old 6th April 2012, 03:02 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

I have a few problem scenarios with this.

1) I've finished a scene, and starting the next is almost as daunting as the blank page with the blinking cursor. Solution? Always finish mid-sentence, mid-scene. Or, if I have a fantastic scene that's flowing brilliantly when writing it, then start the next before closing the laptop. This means I'm always starting mid-sentence, and can progress.

2) Writing myself into a corner. This has been done on several occassions, usually when the characters refuse to play ball and acknowledge that they can't just sit around, drink tea and have a breather. I end up going back to the last place that was working, scrapping everything else, and re-writing from there, going down a different route (and herding the characters - with cattle prods if required - as necessary).

3) No words. Nada. I've had full-on writer's block before now, which lasted about four years. The first time I dared come back to the blank page it was very tentative, and I poked around with scraps of stories very delicately, because I didn't want to scare the muse off. Mostly this was caused by a mix of depression and fear that nothing I wrote was ever going to be good enough quality or individual enough to stand out, and therefore there was no point in writing. Ack. Hated that. These days if I have a rough couple of weeks, I write a chapter 1, or read through something that I really enjoyed writing, just to remind myself that it is possible and I can do it!
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Old 7th April 2012, 10:11 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

I constantly read my own material and plot character backgrounds and storyline. When something even resembling WB approaches, I reread, edit, or work on a shortstory. It always frees up the crowded highways of the brain and gets traffic moving again.

I think the spare shortstory angle is a good one. The Asimov bit sounds excessive, but maybe someday.
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Old 8th April 2012, 03:36 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

Block seems to take two forms for me. 1) I have no idea where I need to go with the story, or 2) cant' focus on the story (too much else on).

I try to deal with the first problem by planning. Using notebooks, sticky notes, I try to get ahead of the story, know where I'm heading, have some scenes roughed out, perhaps even some rough dialogue. I can do this anywhere I have free time and my notebook.

The second problem is helped by setting targets. On busy days I know I only need to write 500 words. That's a page. Most days I'm able to get through that. And I care less about the quality these days. I used to be painful about it -scribbling out and scratching round and trying to write the perfect para. Now I'd rather get the idea down and worry about fixing it up or crossing it out later.
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Old 11th June 2012, 09:10 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Tips to help hinder writers-block.

Writer's block has killed six of my attempts at writing a Novel so far. more than anything I find I just fall out of love with the story, the characters, the whole shebang. I get dreadfull self loathing and become hyper-critical of what I have done to the point that I just can't stand the sight of what is on the screen. When I felt it happening again, I was immediately worried.

This time, I have found my cure (because I believe it is definitely a personal and individual thing) to be a strict routine, or maybe regime is a better word. At 8pm sharp, I sit at the computer, I put the same music on, have the same cup of spiced chai tea out of the same cup and begin. I will not leave the computer untill I have written 1200 words and then I will not write any more than 3000 words in one go - no matter how much I am itching to do it! It is like low level hypnotism!

The last point I can imagine being quite contraversial, but here is my reasoning. I think about that bit I didn't write ALL DAY; it gnaws at me like an itch that can't be scratched. In the evening, when it gets to writing time, the scene just flows from a day's consideration! Also, many times before I have suffered after writing huge chunks of text in one go and then just feel mentally exhausted for days and even weeks after and don't want to touch it again. This often leads to scenario A and I lose all love for the thing.

It probably seems like a stupid idea to some people, but I can honestly say that since starting this regime, I write between 1500 and 3k words a day without any problems at all and the dreaded WB monster has not darkened my doorstep again! I'm now less than about 2 weeks away from finishing my first WiP and I'm excited to bits about it!
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