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Writing Tips for Fiction Writers!



Attack of the Dreaded Writer's Block
by Lee Masterson

Writer's Block - the dreaded state of being unable to get words out of your head and onto paper (or screen) in a logical form.

Every writer has faced it at some point, in one form or another. Whether you simply cannot free your 'muse' enough to get the words of of your head, or whether everything you write ends up in the wastepaper bin, it is still a form of blockage that most writers fear and dread.

The good news is that Writer's Block is never permanent.

The better news is that you can take steps to be sure Writer's Block never strikes again!

1 - Plan
Always have a basic idea of what you will write before you sit down to the task. Think about this in the car (or bus) on the way home. Plan out the next chapter at work. Create the upcoming conflict while you are in the shower. Talk over the impending scene at dinner (and if you are alone, tell the dog/cat/plant - it doesn't matter!) However you arrange it, by the time you sit down to write it, the scene will be almost perfected in your mind. Writers block cannot exist if you've already planned what you are going to write.

2 - Ideas
Keep a file or notepad of ideas that strike you. Take it with you everywhere you go and write down every little thing that seems interesting. It might not fit into the story you are working on, but it just may inspire something else later on.

3 - Routine
Create a realistic schedule for your writing time, and then stick to it as rigorously as you can. Don't allow yourself to be distracted during this time. Humans are creatures of habit, and if you allow your writing time to become habit, then you will find it harder to miss out on that allotted time. You will also find your mind will co-operate by dredging up at least something worth writing about.

4 - Multi-Task
Never work on only one project at a time. This sounds like the easiest way to distract yourself, but it works. The mind is a strange creature. If you actively begin three projects at once, then anytime your mind refuses to cooperate with one storyline or character situation, switch to a short story or article instead.

5 - Distraction
Yet again, the mind is a strange creature. Before you sit down for your "routine writing time", go for a walk, visit friends, watch a movie. Distract your mind from the immediacy of what you are writing, and you will find that solutions to whatever it is that has you 'stuck' will suddenly appear.

6 - Read
Read everything. Read books you've read before because you love them. Read really bad books. Read outside your usual genre. Read advertisements on cereal boxes. Combinations of words are specifically put together to elicit a proscribed response. The more you read, the more responsive you will be to the stimulus, and the easier it will be for your Muse to fire up again.

7 - Write More!
This is the strangest solution to writer's block of them all. Let's call this one "Practice Writing". Try just doodling aimlessly, writing about your day, scribbling background notes on your characters, holding fake 'interviews' with your protagonist, or whatever it takes. Your mind is a powerful thing - it will soon get bored with aimless scribble, and provide details enough to continue with whatever piece you were stuck with.

Copyright Lee Masterson. All rights reserved.


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