Hiyo, everyone! Today I’d like to talk about a handful of techniques I use to beat Writer’s Block. Most writers I know find themselves uncertain how to proceed every now and then, so if you are suffering from Writer’s Block, know you’re far from alone. There are plenty of sites around offering ideas for how to overcome it; I have no intention of parroting those. I’m just gonna tell you about a few things that work for me. They may help you, or they may not, but I hope something I say is useful to someone!
Experience more stories
One thing that gives me a creative jump-start is reading, watching, playing, etc. some sort of media that’s compelling to me from a narrative standpoint. It doesn’t at all have to be perfect; it just has to do something I like, whether that be executing killer plot twists, developing deep characters, getting me really into the lore, or whatever else. While it’s not cool to copy someone else’s work, there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from others. So see what stories the world has to offer – and remind yourself of why you want to write in the first place.
Develop aspects of your story one at a time
Quite often, Writer’s Block stems from a feeling that something about your work isn’t good enough. Starting a story (or chapter, or whatever else) from scratch can be daunting. You may have thoughts about your setting and characters, but struggle to come up with a plot. That’s okay. When I find myself in that position, I slow down and work on the pieces of my stories one at a time. You can flesh out a character you really like; think about what they like and dislike, and what they would do in all sorts of situations they’ll never actually experience. Use what you do know to create more. Imagine conflicts that might arise between your characters and setting/plot. If you don’t know what sort of characters to write yet but do know about the setting/plot, consider the difficulties your setting/plot impose. Make a character who has to overcome them. Make them fight their fears.
It may be frustrating to have to dial back the pace of your writing to get the specifics just right, but it’s better to work slowly than to come to a standstill.
Mash separate ideas together
You may have vague ideas about several stories you’d like to write. They may seem like they have nothing to do with each other. Try making them fit anyway; it can foster new thoughts. Maybe you’d like to write one story about werewolves and another about traveling in space. You could put those together by writing about a werewolf astronaut who’s traveling to the moon and doesn’t understand what sort of effect that will have on their body. Often, mashing two ideas together will lead to something that appears outlandish, but outlandishness breeds originality. You may find yourself with a story that really breaks the mold.
Sometimes, writing something decent can seem impossible. In the moment, everything that comes to mind may seem terrible to you. One way to break the stalemate is to write something terrible. It’s not like you have to release it to others. I find my emotional state can greatly impact my perception of my writing. If you make yourself write something you think is bad, you may come back to it later and discover some worthwhile pieces in what you wrote. Even if you don’t, you may learn something new about your world in the process. Worst case scenario, you scrap the entire thing. That doesn’t put you any farther back than if you hadn’t written at all. If you think you can’t write anything good, I encourage you to give it a try nonetheless!
Those are all the tips I had in mind for today. I hope you found something in my post helpful; please let me know if you did, or if you think my advice is awful, or any of your thoughts about Writer’s Block. All constructive feedback is welcome! Bye-bye for now!