5 More Tips on Curing Writer’s Block

Two weeks ago, I posted “5 Tips on Curing Writer’s Block.” After I posted that (and became stuck myself once or twice), I thought up a few additional ways that might be helpful in curing this dreaded writer’s disease. So, here are 5 more tips to help keep that writer’s block at bay:

1. Do you want to talk about it?
Most of my writing time is spent alone (with the exception of my writing buddy =^.^=), in my room with music, and my current WIP. Writers spend a lot of their time alone. One way to beat writer’s block is to talk about the scene you’re stuck on with someone else. Perhaps that person has an idea that could solve your problem, or maybe just talking about it will remove that block.

2. It’s November 1st!
Only two more months! Since the time I first heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), it’s been my dream to participate. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is the ultimate writing challenge where you write a full length novel (50,000 words) in one month. And this year, I’m actually going to be able to participate. A few local libraries are hosting NaNo workshops, and I’m absolutely thrilled. I simply cannot wait for November 1st! What does this have to do with writer’s block? Well, I think that NaNo will be a great way to bust writer’s block. If you work best under pressure, you’ll have all the pressure you need to keep you motivated. Also, if you need a challenge to help you keep moving, then this is the challenge for you. If you’re suffering from writer’s block and it’s November, then try NaNo!

Giving yourself a little pressure, like NaNoWriMo, can go a long way when dealing with writer’s block. You don’t have to join NaNo, though, to set yourself a goal. Try a couple hundred words a day, and you might find that writer’s block tends to creep away. After all, you can’t afford to have writer’s block if you have to write 300 more words that day. I’ve been trying to keep my word count above 1,000 every day, and while I haven’t been totally successful, it’s certainly kept me less distracted, more focused, and, best of all, leaves me with no time for writer’s block.

4. Don’t worry…keep writing!
This is a huge cause of writer’s block for me. I think up an idea and tear it down because it doesn’t fit the “bestseller” book that I want. Or I’ll write a chapter and compare it unfavorably to someone else’s work. One way to beat this is to bring yourself back down to reality. Remind yourself that there is a slim chance that this book is going to be the next hottest book or series. And that it’s okay if it isn’t the next huge sensation. It’s fine to dream about writing a best seller; just don’t impress those standards on the book you’re working on, especially if you’re only on draft one. It will never live up to those expectations, and you’ll end up becoming frustrated because you can’t think of an idea that is perfect enough.

5. “Hi Ho Hi Ho. It’s off to work we go!”
Sometimes it’s better not to try to actually cure your writer’s block, but just to push through it. It’s not always easy to do this, but it’s sometimes the best option. If you spend all the time you’d usually use writing on trying to cure your writer’s block, then you’ll never get anything done. Also, you might be telling yourself that you have writer’s block, because you’re not in the mood to write or don’t feel like working on whatever your working on. In those cases, it might just be best to write through the writer’s block and continue working.

That’s five more tips to cure that writer’s block you have. Now, you should have none! 🙂 So, what are you waiting for? Start writing!

~ Kayla

5 Tips on Curing Writer’s Block

Ever have one of those days? You know the one where you just can’t think of anything to write about? Writer’s block is THE worst thing about writing. I go along, writing just fine and then suddenly…I’ve got nothing. Nothing. I sit there, drum my fingers against the keyboard…and still have nothing. So, instead of getting frustrated, I’ve learned to try one of these 5 writer’s block busters.

1. Change it up
Maybe you’re not completely unable to write. Maybe it’s just the project you’re working on. So, work on something else, especially something enjoyable. If I’m writing and feel writer’s block coming on, I switch to another project, usually an already in progress fanfiction because they’re fun to write! Also I feel like some of the pressure of creating a new world is gone, since of course, the world is already built for me. Once the feelings of frustration are eliminated, I can come back to the original project and make good progress.

2. Go and smell the roses
Sometimes, you just need to walk away from the keyboard (or the notebook) and take a break. Instead of trying to ‘push through'(which is occasionally required), sometimes it is better just to walk away. Shut down the computer, take a walk, listen to music, draw, etc. Anything other than writing. Sometimes I find that it’s not actually writer’s block, but it’s just me telling myself that I need a break.

3. “I’m going on an adventure!”
Maybe it’s because you’ve been trapped behind the same desk, in the same room (or on the same bed, in my case!) for too long. Take the laptop/notebook and move. Go outside in the grass, to a coffee shop, or any place other than the usual writing place. I actually brainstorm ideas when I’m ice skating. If the ice is too crowded to actually get any practice done, I’ll skate around, and just think over plot ideas, since I really can’t skate and type at the same time. 🙂 Sometimes, you just need a new view.

4. Houston, we have a problem
I tend to have a bout of writer’s block if I know that I’ve made a plot mistake or am not happy about a certain scene. It’s like I’m telling myself I have to go back to fix the problem before I can continue. I’ll feel stuck for a few days then open the Word doc, reread what I’ve written, see the glaring plot hole, fix it, and then the writer’s block is poof, gone. So maybe that writer’s block is actually a mistake crying out to be fixed.

5. “He’s dead, Jim.”
Sometimes the novel is just…dead. It’s time to have the funeral (I know it’s painful) and move on. That could be the reason why you just can’t seem to make any headway. It’s hard to continue work on a project that doesn’t have life in it any more. I’ve had plenty of ideas that sound great when I start, and when I begin writing, everything is wonderful. As the novel grows and I continue to flesh out the idea, I arrive at a point and stop, completely unsure about where to go next. Then I reread what I wrote, and realize that I don’t have writer’s block, my idea is just dead. So, sometimes, it’s not actually writer’s block, it’s the project itself.

These are my five tips on curing writer’s block. While these five things work for me, everyone is different and has their own methods that work for them. What do you do when you have writer’s block?

~ Kayla

Writing Fanfiction – 4 Things I’ve Learned

From Star Trek to The Hobbit to Sherlock Holmes, I have written a lot of fanfiction. I could create millions of fanfics and still not be tired of writing them. There’s something about getting to see how your favorite characters react to a situation or character that you’ve designed that is quite addicting! Since beginning to write fanfiction, I have definitely learned a few things. Here is my list of 4 tips that I’ve learned about writing fanfiction:

1. Study up on your fandom
It’s not easy to write a story about a world and characters you don’t know a lot about. It’s very important that you know what you’re talking about before you go and write it. For example, my OC (Other Character, which is a fan created, added-in character for those of you who aren’t fanfiction writers)for The Hobbit, is half-Elven. I created her before I read the books, so when I finally read the end of Return of the King, I found a list of Elf/human marriages. Of course, her parents weren’t on there. My story didn’t match the Middle-Earth lore. Oops. Of course, her status as being half-Elven was so ingrained in my writing at that point, I didn’t want to change it. If I checked before hand, I could have fixed it early on. So, in summary, do your research!

2. Use the source
If you’re adding in an OC to a scene, or simply writing the scene from another’s point of view, make sure your writing matches the canon scene. So, if you’re creating a scene from say, Sherlock Holmes, have the case you’re working from open and right at the part you’re currently writing to make sure the details match. When I write for The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, I always have the movie transcripts or the books open. This adds authenticity to your fanfiction and makes you sound like you know your fandom that much more.

3. Character Dialogue from the movie/book
This fits right in with the last point. Using character lines from the source material makes your fanfiction seem more like a real scene in the book/movie rather than fan concocted fiction. When I wrote my The Hobbit fanfiction scene, called “Of Ponies and Trolls,” I made sure that Kili and Fili’s dialogue matched the movie. For example, when Bilbo and Nerissa (my OC) walked up with dinner, Nerissa asked, “What’s wrong?” Kili answered with the dialogue from the movie, “We’re supposed to be looking out for the ponies.” When you add dialogue from the movie/book, make sure it’s in the right place. If he had said that line in camp when they weren’t “looking out for the ponies,” it wouldn’t have matched the movie and seemed as authentic.

4. OC characters
Some love them, some hate them. I personally like creating my own character and being able to feel like I have a part in the whole story. Besides, I really enjoy writing them in. Something I’ve learned about OC characters is to make sure they fit into the world they’re supposed to be living in and give them a believable backstory. When I wrote my Star Trek fanfictions, adding in my OC, Myranda, I gave her a backstory that fit into Deep Space Nine. Of course, the backstory was overly complicated and took years to explain, but it did fit. It made her seem like part of the Star Trek world, as if she belonged and was truly part of the crew.

There is my list of 4 things that I’ve learned about writing fanfiction. This is just a beginning, as I’m sure I have a ton more to learn.

~ Kayla