Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How to get un-stuck when you’re stuck and can’t write.
Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.
I am under a deadline, an intense, terrifying deadline that I set for myself. I’ve been in similar situations, and I have always accomplished what I needed to. Right now, I’m not gaining as much ground as I would like. I know exactly what is going to happen in the last handful of scenes I need to write, but I can’t seem to get them down on paper. And I’m starting to panic. I even gave myself permission to write crappy, although I’m not sure myself is obeying my directive.
I have a list of tips for times like these, and I’m going to give them a shot. I’m sharing them today, just in case I’m not the only writer in the world who experiences Writing Panic/Anxiety/Block/Freezing. (Although, I actually suspect I AM the only one. I believe all other writers sit down at the computer (or at the paper with the pen), and flawless words flow like a river of magic from their fingertips…sigh…)
Tips for un-sticking a stuck scene/writer’s brain:
- Isolate the scene from the rest of the book. Open a new document and write the scene all on its own.
- Write the scene like you’re telling a friend about it. If it helps, pretend like you’re telling a friend about a movie you saw. Write it crappy, conversationally. Just ‘tell’ what happened. You can polish and ‘show’ in revisions.
- Write gibberish. Just string a bunch of nonsensical words together. Anything that comes to mind. Try this for 5 or 10 minutes. It can be quite freeing. And, writing is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better it works.
- Close your eyes, picture the scene, the setting, the characters, feel, smell, hear the scene…and spew out crap. Total, poorly written crap.
- Read something in the genre you’re writing (something brief, a scene or two, NOT an entire book). Try reading it aloud and/or typing/writing from the book (just remember to NOT use what you type in your story. That’s called plagiarism)
- Take a scene (copy and paste from a word document) from one of your own books and type over it with the events in the new story. Reminding yourself you’ve done this before, and seeing how you were once able to get words on paper, can help jumpstart your brilliance again.
- Write it like it’s the first scene in your book. We all know we take more care and time with our opening scenes. And when we are writing them, we are powerful, fearless, full of optimism and hope. The world is ours to command and nothing can stand in our way. (This is just before reality bites us in the arse, but it’s a good feeling while it lasts). Adopt that same attitude with each scene. (Not the biting in the arse attitude, the fearless one)
- Say these words: “I am not a bad writer, I’m just having a bad time writing. I will push through it, keep writing, and it will all come together.”
- Then, write. No matter how awful the writing is, or how hard it is to push the words out, keep writing.
What tricks do you use when you’re stuck? (Oh, wait…I’m the only one who ever gets stuck, I forgot.)
Until next time…Happy Writing!
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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible.
How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.
Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.
Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!
*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)
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