1. Chickidy
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    Chickidy Contributing Member

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    Plot Block?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Chickidy, Jun 24, 2008.

    Alright, some time ago I had a crippling case of writer's block, I could not write, I didn't feel it whenever I sat down at the keyboard and tried to write. Well I got over that but now I have a new problem that may be a hell of a lot worse. Plot Block. I can't think of anything to write about, I try to but I just can't. I'll sit in my chair for hours trying to come up with something that isn't total crap, that hasn't been done before or that isn't just simply too vague or ridiculous to even consider writing about, and I can't. The few ideas I have are either bad or are more or less scenes rather than a plot, something that could be put into a plot, but without a plot, standing alone, are pretty shallow. It is possibly the most frustrating thing I have ever experienced.

    Has anyone else experienced this annoying phenomenon and if so, do you have any suggestions of how to get over it, because I seriously need to, its killing me!
     
  2. Milady
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    Milady Contributing Member

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    I got my latest idea from television. An old Discovery show... dunno what it was about, but something occurred to me. *shrugs*.

    I think I went the opposite direction from you. I had plot block, got over it, and now I have writer's block.

    Sorry for the lack of help... Thought I'd just submit my empathy.... ;)
     
  3. JanesLife
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    JanesLife Member

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    !Que triste! Plot block is no fun, but it is easily overcome, thankfully. Careful planning is so important in creating decent pieces, and it's so unfortunate when one experiences the ennui of plot block... Anywhoodles, I usually find that if I forget about writing for a few days (yes, it's a difficult task to accomplish), and just spend a bit of time with friends or reading or whatever, that plots and stories jump around without being asked in. Sucks, especially if you wish to write immediately, but ehhh. Also, you could take the F. Scott Fitzgerald method and force yourself to write for a set amount of time each day, and just let whatever fly out of your pen. This is frustrating, but may lead to something like Gatsby (sigh*).

    P.S. Is your signature originally from Withnail and I? If you haven't seen it (it's a movie), I highly recommend it.
     
  4. Sato Ayako
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    Sato Ayako Contributing Member

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    I run into "plot block" every time I finish a novel or a short story. I think, 'oh God, I've got nothing.' Or I might have a few scenes with little or no coherency, so I lose hope, or at least used to. Now I know you can take scenes and put them into the context of a plot if you focus.

    But here are some of the things I do to get over "plot block":

    1. First, I rest. If there are no ideas in my mind, I don't pressure myself to find them. I do whatever I want. If I want to fry my brain watching TV or playing video games, I let myself do it. I don't do this step for more than a week, however, because by the time a week's over, it's obvious rest isn't working.

    2. I collect interesting titles and phrases. These often help me spark ideas because they give me a focus. Sometimes coming up with a plot is all a matter of focus. You might try some of these for inspiration:

    • A Note on Apathy
    • Antigravity
    • Exploder
    • Freak on a Leash
    • Heap
    • i-YO
    • Machinehead
    • Wonder What's Next

    3. I change focus from plot to character. I think of a character and give him/her a problem. For example: a character who wants to be a different species. Now what does the character do to solve it? He dresses up like the species he wants to be. And it goes on. I'll often come up with a greater story arc by doing this.

    4. I look to other places for inspiration. I'm a sucker for sad movies and video games, so those are the first places I go. Otherwise I Google for writing prompts.

    5. I do a "babble". I take a piece of paper (or pull up a new document on my word-processing program,) and just write different ideas. Sometimes I'll put a focus to it, such as "weird/unique superhero ideas."

    6. I do an "aloud babble", where I'll stand in front of a mirror (or in front of a poor, unsuspecting audience,) and think of the most bizarre ideas I can. I don't worry about probability. I once got an idea for a story by babbling about how waffles are no longer square if you take the square grid out the center of them.

    7. Okay, getting desperate by this time! I just start writing. I'll write an outline for a story, or I'll just start writing a story with only the vaguest idea of what I want or where to go. If I have a few scenes in mind, I write with an aim to connect them.

    8. If all else fails, I take another break. I'm obviously tired. I try not to worry too much about it because worry will eventually make it worse.
     
  5. Incroyablepurple
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    Incroyablepurple New Member

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    I'm pretty new to writing, and it's not like my life or anything, just another hobby, so I frequently will not be able to think of a topic. At the same time, I'll just write sometimes about a couple things that pop up in my head.

    Um, I suggest that you brainstorm a couple of things and when you get a couple ideas in your head, try to stick with them or connect it to something else.

    Rest, play some games, watch TV, and do other stuff, and eventually you'll be fine.
     
  6. WAN73D
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    WAN73D Member

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    Well, when you have plot block, sitting in front of your monitor/notebook doesn't usually help (unless you use the aforementioned Fitzgerald method). Doing other things and intentionally looking for inspiration are good ways to find a spark.
     
  7. assassins creed
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    assassins creed Banned

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    plot & structure

    If anyone is interested here is a book by James Scott Bell called, yes you guessed it PLOT & STRUCTURE. It is a very inspiring book with lots of helpful hints and tips and would benefit anyone who is struggling with the subject or in general wishes to get their creative juices flowing.
     
  8. Alice_Loves_Hatter
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    Alice_Loves_Hatter Member

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    Yeah, I've been getting this a lot recently, and I tried the "giving myself a break and waiting for the muse" technique...it didn't work. I'd never been able to write by staring at a screen, but that old fitzgerald thing does work; I've also discovered it's how Nick Cave writes his songs nowadays, office hours and forcing yourself to write.

    I try to just re-edit what I've got for a little while, then just continue with descriptions, pointelss dialogue etc etc until I find something, sometimes just a line, that clicks and I think "oh, that could get me to this point..." and just try to carry it on.
    But buggger, it's hard hah! When you're writing crap for long periods its awful, you feel like you'll never move stuff on.
    But just keep slogging away at it. Try to just do a little every day, save them all as separate documents (or better, with a pen and paper, it hurts less than staring at a screen).


    And listen to Nick Cave hahahah.


    x.S.x
     
  9. Chickidy
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    Chickidy Contributing Member

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    Ya, I tried the don't think about it method too, and I must say its not much easier to come up with something, it is a tiny bit, but thats because I'm basically taking everything I've been doing and deluding it with false originality, so I'll try the Fitzgerald thing.
     

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