Book Club Questions 6: When Did You Have Your First Attack Of Writers Block?
Writer’s block can be the stuff of nightmares for some authors, but where there is a will, there is defiantly a way and most of all, the opportunity to step back and re-evaluate.
When I decided to write my first two Psychological Crime Thrillers in the series I was so excited at the freeness my mind gave me to write, it was like I was watching short movie clips with words. I didn’t consider that writer’s block could or would ever become a issue. At the very beginning I wrote from the personal experiences of my car accident, keeping my mind flexible to the fact that the first words written would not necessarily become chapter one. That was the easy part, but once I’d tapped out on my personal account, the first mini writers block kicked in.
Book Club Questions 6: How Did You Overcome Your first Mini Stumbling Block?
Funny to say that often when I’m not thinking, the best thoughts comes to mind. When I had read my work back I set it aside and started formulating an outline, I like to call this my skeleton. Once I had a few characters in mind (Daman, Sky and Cruz) I set about drafting out their separate life’s and let the rest flow naturally. Before long I had three mini stories going nicely, but knew where the first stumbling block would arise….How was I going to weave their stories into one?
The first thing to point out is that I hardly ever think of these issues as writers block, but more like little challenges I often enjoy meeting and overcoming. Taking advantage of long early morning walks helped me to devise a plan of how I would somehow get Cruz into Daman’s life. I thought about friends I had which helped immensely….But Sky became the issue.
Book Club Questions 6: How Did You Deal With The Issue?
For a day or so it bugged me, but that was where it stopped. I know this sounds silly and a little mad, but I often talk out loud, a little like a detective trying to piece together a murder… yes we authors are strange creatures.
One half of me figured that I would make Sky the key which unlocked the story and raise the plot stakes. The other half thrashed out different scenarios and followed them through until I came to a conclusion about each one. Mapping the best two out on paper I travelled from one situation to the next until two ideas stood out as possible solutions. At that point I still was caught between the two, the rock and the hard place. Never liking to take the easy as most obvious route, I pinned the ideas on my office wall with pictures and left them alone.
Book Club Questions 6: How Did You Choose The Right Route?
I did something most of my friends found rather odd…..Being only a quarter of the way through writing the story, I stopped there and started writing the last quarter of the book.
It was only when I used this strategy and started working back did it become plainly obvious how Sky would tie all three stories together. I would use one of my best thought out twist to solve the problem. It so turned out that not trying too hard to write my way though the block was I able to figure out a suspenseful conclusion.“Return from The Book Club Questions 6 To Read The Wikipedia Entry on Writers Block. Disambiguation"
Book Club Questions 6: What Advice Do you Have For Others with Writing Block?
I don’t profess to hold the golden nugget when it comes to pushing through writers block, but what I do stand by is the notion that writers block shouldn’t be seen as a block, but more of diversion to the same destination. Sometimes we can make our own writers block by thinking that a book always has to be written how it’s read, from front to back.
Here are my tips
1.…It’s only a block if you choose to see it that way. If you were travelling from point A to point B and there were road works blocking your route, you wouldn’t choose to turn around and come home….you would find another route. The same applies to writers block, first map out where you’ve been and where you would like to go with the story….using mind maps and story boards are a great help.
2...Don’t beat yourself up about it….remember that you hold the keys to the story, not the reader. Once you have a mind map in place look at your options and work them through, it’s often then that things make sense to either use or throw away.
3.…Take a break, but let only let it be a break. I have heard stories of authors putting their work back on the shelve forever and a day, months or even years have gone by with no ground made. Never carry a white flag, unless you plan to stake it in the ground as a landmark achievement.
4...Sometimes it might only take a little fresh air and a clear head, other times it may take a good night sleep to see the woods from the trees. Let your mind wonder freely...It will finally take you to where you need to be.
5..Never dismiss an idea until it’s obvious that it’s not the right route to take.
6...Nothing is set in stone until it’s sitting in paperback or on someone’s ebook reader. Sometimes you might have to rock and roll with a course of action until it’s read back…the odd jigsaw pieces will often stand out...yes we all hate rewriting a chapter, but that is part of being an author...Far better spending the time to rewrite a chapter now than repenting at leisure later.
7...Now this should have been number one to me, never be caught short without a pen and notepad. My last writers block was solved on the toilet seat of all places…I would of loved to tell you that it was while pruning flowers but I’d be lying.
8.… My last tip in this book club questions 6 article….Sometimes two heads are better than one; what you may not see for being too close to your work, others may view a clear solution, kind of like looking from the outside in.
Author’s if you’ve ever suffered from Writers block, tell us how you over came the issue…Please use the Facebook comment box below
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