1. Justin Rocket 2
    Offline

    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    194

    Your cure for writer's block

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Justin Rocket 2, Sep 29, 2016.

    What is your process when you hit a writer's block?

    On the advice of beta readers, I have decided I need to write a scene 2 which
    a.) introduces the main character's best friend
    b) shows what it is like for the main character, a teenager, to have a single parent who suffers from clinical depression
    c) establishes that the main character and his best friend will soon be graduating from high school

    I have spent most of my day staring at a blank sheet of paper trying to write this.
     
  2. TheWriteWitch
    Offline

    TheWriteWitch Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    107
    By process do you mean that loooooonggggg period of time in which I roam around the house and do anything but write? I have tried dozens upon dozens of cures for writer's block and I think there might only be one. Face the blank page.

    That said, how about the best friend shows up with fast food just as the main character is facing a cold, empty kitchen? The parent arrives sometime during the meal and manages to ask how school is; the best friend mentions this thing called 'graduation.'
     
  3. Justin Rocket 2
    Offline

    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    194
    That's not bad. I'm thinking of having the friend and the main character working in the garage on an old beater the parent bought for him. The parent had it towed to their home and intended to work on it with the main character, but never got around to it (due to lack of motivation from clinical depression). Placing this scene in the garage allows me to mention the snowmobiles in the garage (something else that the parent had intended to do with the main character, but never got around to doing). They live in Colorado Springs, therefore, they have access to snow for most of the year. The thing is, I can't find the, for lack of a better word, -energy- of the scene (i.e. the clash of passions).
     
  4. TheWriteWitch
    Offline

    TheWriteWitch Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    107
    Maybe the parent got the teen the wrong kind of car? Parent chose the one he/she wanted in high school. Teen is absolutely sure he doesn't want to be anything like his parent? There's a lot probably floating around between them in terms of energy. Have you tried freewriting just the conversation? Let them rant at each other for a page and see what you get?
     
  5. Justin Rocket 2
    Offline

    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    194
    I don't think I can do that. It'd
    That'd make the kid an ingrate and an asshole. That's not the character arc I have planned. The character arc is about self-acceptance.
    Interesting. I'd still need to find a way to fit it into the character arc I have planned. How can the parent's choice become a way to reveal the protagonist's issue of self-acceptance?
    No, because I can't get into the characters' skins yet. I need a way to tap into the energy of the scene, then the dialogue will be easy.
     
  6. TheWriteWitch
    Offline

    TheWriteWitch Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    107
    Maybe the way to tap into the scene is through the car? What does the make/model say about the parent and, in the long run, about the protagonist?
     
  7. TheWriteWitch
    Offline

    TheWriteWitch Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    107
    Is it possible we're on to a cure for writer's block? Does it help to know what the scene is not? You have an idea, deep down, and the more you consider other suggestions and reject or respond to them, the clearer the scene becomes?

    I just hope I'm helping. . .
     
  8. Necronox
    Offline

    Necronox Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    I like to ask a friend, family or otherwise. Bonus points if they know absolutely nothing about my story or situation. I give them the rough details (e.g What would you do if you where in X situation) sort of thing. They usually answer with something that irrelevant but it is usually enough to get ideas rolling again. Makes me think of things I have not already thought of.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  9. big soft moose
    Online

    big soft moose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,400
    Likes Received:
    984
    Personally i don't believe in writers block - I have times that I don't feel like writing - in those period I don't write - but when i do want to write, i write ... that whole sitting there with no idea what to put thing is pointless, just accept that sometimes it isnt happening and go play instead

    The other thing is to give yourself permission to be crap - just write something, too often people are hamstrung by the idea that perfect prose has to flow from their pen and thus whatever they write isnt good enough - kick that idea into touch, its known as the shitty first draft for a reason.
     
  10. Justin Rocket 2
    Offline

    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    194
    I use this idea sometimes, but I take it a bit further. I write with the intention to write the shittiest stuff I can. My inner critic gets confused and shuts up. I'm a pretty good editor, so, when I've finished writing the shittiest stuff I can, I just clean it up.
     
  11. Dnaiel
    Offline

    Dnaiel Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    34
    I started on my book back in 2009. I worked on it off and on, like many writers I think. I had about three years of a straight block. I'm sure the reasons for everyone's blocks vary. Which means the solution strategy depends on what's behind it. But per your question, here's what I started doing and it's worked out quite well.

    I learn my characters well enough to know what they would do in any situation. I then write little side stories pitting them in random situations. I even tried a scene from Star Wars. The scene was already written; I just dropped my character in and watched things unfold. This kept my creative juice flowing. I liken it to eating small, but several meals, to keep a metabolism going, as one fitness expert suggested to me. The side stories I write, I think only one went past a page. But at least I kept writing.
     

Share This Page