Friday, October 5, 2012

Squeezing past the road block

How do you overcome writers block? That massive block in the road which you just can't seem to get past. That moment when you're ripping through a new story, you have so many great ideas.... and then suddenly you don't know where to go next....What happens? How does your character get from A to B? How does your character overcome this obstacle?

So what do you do?

Here's a few things I do

1. Take my favourite novels and pull them to pieces (not literally. Please do not hurt your novels!). I think about what it is that I really love about them. Chances are the things I love about those stories will help me overcome my current roadblock.

The character in my one of my favourite novel's loves sitting by the river. That is something I love about the book. It's her place to go, to think, to reflect, to get away and to dream. This could open my brain to new possibilities for the character in my novel. Perhaps instead of trying to escape on land, she escapes by swimming down the river. Perhaps instead of hiding in her bedroom, she has a place on top of a mountain she goes to think. It's the perspective thing - stepping back and getting a new perspective. This was a terrible example - but you get the gist! (I hope)

2. Plan the next plot point. I'm a planner, I like details and I like to know where things are heading. My life, my relationships, my travel plans, my career and my novels! This freakish planning often helps me avoid too many roadblocks. It means I know where my character needs to get to. If she's at point A and she needs to ultimately get to point B, what is going to happen in between point A and B to get her there. If I didn't have a point B, I feel she'd wander around aimlessly, but the fact I know where she's heading, where she has to end up, it helps to work past those blocks.

3. This point I got from Pixar! Make a list of what wouldn't happen next. If you sit down and say, okay, well I don't think there'll be an earthquake or flood you might see that a volcano might erupt. Basically writing down what wouldn't happen next helps you find the things that COULD happen next. It helps unblock the road!

4. It is a character you're having trouble with? You don't know what to do with your protagonist? Think about what you would do if you were in their position. Identify with the character and the situation. Write down 5+ ideas, then think about which of those ideas would be the most exciting for your audience to read.  Don't be afraid to be honest either. Honestly will often be more incredible than a fabricated feeling or emotion. It will feel more genuine as well.

5. Throw in some action. Have the character meet someone that is a total opposite. Challenge your character and take them out of their comfort zone. A positive for a negative, a tall for a short, a beautiful for a plain, a jock for a nerd. Someone that will clash with your character, someone that will create some drama and action. Having that character in there might help move the story forward more smoothly.

6. Just keep writing. Who cares if what you put down is absolute crap....... Keep writing, then come back to this point later and rewrite it. By the time you come back you might know what needs to happen here.

7. Skip this section. Figure out what is due to happen next and write that, then come back and fill in the blanks.

What ideas do you have? How do you get past writers block?

No comments:

Post a Comment