Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Writer’s Block

I got one, I got one! An idea, is.

I’ve been a bit stuck lately. Writer’s block, times two, since I’m working on two manuscripts right now. Seemed like a great idea back when I started. I had two ideas for stories and I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to work on first—the sequel to The Seduction of Esther, or a brand new book based on a beautiful Victorian mansion I’d recently walked through. So I decided to write both, figuring that when I got tired of one, I’d switch to the other.

And it worked for a while. I hit a groove, which I usually hit when I first start writing. Each story flowed well and the two were different enough that I didn’t get confused.

I wrote a lot during February, less so in March and almost nothing in April. I have no idea what happened. Every time I sat down to write, I had nothing to say. The characters weren’t speaking to me, the stories didn’t interest me and I spent all my time staring at the page and trying to come up with reasons to check Facebook and email.

Writer’s block and it was horrible.

But today, I sat down and worked on the sequel and I came up with a subplot! An actual subplot, which will lead me eventually to a scene that I’ve already written, but which fits toward the end of the story. I wrote that scene almost in the very beginning; it was one of the scenes that inspired me to write the story in the first place. I loved the scene and knew I wanted to include it, but I didn’t know exactly where or how.

Well, today, I found the roadmap that leads me to this scene. It makes sense, it shows character development, it helps with the story arc and I think it’s going to work.

I’m not sure exactly what kicked me out of my slump or what I did to get into it in the first place. I wish I did; I could prevent it from happening, or get out of it easily. And only time will tell if this new subplot will pan out. But I’m hopeful, and I haven’t been in a while.

So tell me, what do you do to cure writer’s block?


  1. I always write down one word, then add another, then another, until I build a picture of words. Say, tree is the first word, I will then add, maybe, leaves, but have to put a joining word in the middle. Tree with leaves ... and so on. By the time I am halfway through my list, I have usually gained an idea for my novel! Block broken. :)

  2. I love that idea, Glynis! I'm going to try that next time!

  3. It's great when something clicks and you see the way ahead, isn't it? Full steam ahead for you now!

    I love Glynis' idea too

  4. Now to just find the time, because of course, things came crashing down today. But yes, I see the way ahead.

  5. Good for you, Jen. It's always so hard to get back to it when you've been away (for whatever reason) for a while.

    Sometimes I just make myself typing Something when I'm really stuck. Just the process of moving my fingers over the keys sometimes helps. Other times I'll move from the computer and so some old-fashioned hand-written work. For some reason that helps to unstick me sometimes.

  6. Yeah, I've tried just typing and seeing what comes out. Sometimes it works; other times, not so much. I like the idea of trying with a pen and paper, though!

  7. Glynis' idea is a good one--better than any I have come up with.
    Debra, you're right. It's harder to get back into a story the longer you've been away.
    I have scant time to write now due to needful work. I hope I will plug away at my WIP when I have a few moments each day.

  8. Ana, you seem to have a good system though for keeping up with your writing and making up for lost time during the off months, so I wouldn't worry too much!

  9. When I get stuck, I make a list. A list of character traits, a list of ideas about the scene and setting, every single detail. This usually gets me going and back on track.