1. Justin Rocket 2

    Justin Rocket 2 Contributor Contributor

    Jun 13, 2013
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    Getting the old motor running

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Justin Rocket 2, Oct 28, 2015.

    We've all been there. We sit our butt down in front of the notebook/laptop/whatever and try to think of words to put down. Nothing happens. We try to stare through the blank page/pet our magic pet rock/drink a double espresso and type a bunch of free-associated letters and nothing happens.
    What's your trick to get the words flowing?
    Some I use are
    • switching the tools I'm using (i.e. if I'm stuck on my laptop, I'll switch to a notebook or vice versa)
    • keeping the pen moving no matter what even if all I can think to write is "god this sucks maybe I should just quit ice cream strawberry there's a new cartoon from yesterdays trip maybe if I grap some I can come nack and write better"
    • deliberately trying to write the absolute worse drivel I possibly can for the first draft. Since the goal is to write something hideous, my inner critique gets short-circuited. Every time it tries to tell me "this is awful," it encourages me to write more
    • going to the library or mall or bookstore change the scenery
  2. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

    Jul 11, 2010
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    Near Sedro Woolley, Washington
    I often just pick up a notebook (a paper notebook) and an actual pen with black ink in it. I start writing by hand. That sometimes jars me loose.

    Another idea is to write a different scene in your WIP. Don't feel like you need to take up right where you left off in your last writing session. Maybe you're not ready for that yet. Write a completely different part of the story.

    Reread your WIP to date. That will catch you up with your story and help you get back the rhythm of your sentences and the tone of your work so far. It helps ease the jitters.
  3. DeathandGrim

    DeathandGrim Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2012
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    Virginia Beach
    I generate stories from grandstanding moments. Like a big climax that I think would be really cool to build up to. And from there I work downward to create a framework. I usually do this by playing some video games when I'm dry. They get the old imagination running
  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Oct 12, 2015
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    On the Road.
    For me it helps when I grab my notebook (and only my notebook and nothing else apart from money) and go to a pub.

    Alternatively just write in descriptive mode until you get the words flowing (she goes there, does that, finds this, talks to that one about this stuff,..). It always is easier to edit and adjust the start of the paragraph then it is to start already in polished mode ;)
  5. Tom Fitch

    Tom Fitch New Member

    Oct 22, 2014
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    I generally have a good idea of what I want to tell.

    If the words don't come, I just start writing down what I want to tell in simple words. I would e.g. write something like: "Timo got out of bed. He was still tired but needed to get up. He put on his clothes and went out."

    I carry on like that and at some point, the words start flowing. The initial part is than edited while proofreading. I often proofread pieces between 40 and 50 times.

  6. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

    Oct 21, 2008
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    Cave of Ice
    Depends on where I'm at in the process. If I'm in the middle of writing a novel, I usually don't have much trouble picking up where I left off. That's because I'm typically very regimented. Once I commit to working on a novel, I try to hit a daily word count goal. I'm pretty good about keeping on it.

    Starting a new project, well, that's a bit different. I've had a new novel cooking in my mind for a while now and haven't started actually writing yet. But mostly, at this point with a decently fleshed out idea in mind, I just need a chance to sit down and put pen to paper. Force the start if I have to. Momentum works wonders.

    Getting stuck on a plot hole is luckily something that doesn't happen too often. But in that case, I usually step away from the story and take time to think about it. Once I've figured out the problem and a solution, I can usually build my momentum back up. It may take a while, but I usually get there.

    So I guess I don't really have a trick. Once I know I have something to write, I either just get started or have to force a start. Once I'm started up I let the momentum keep me going.

    Kind of a lame answer, now that I think about it. But it works, dammit!
  7. ReproveTheCurlew

    ReproveTheCurlew Active Member

    Nov 6, 2015
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    I have read that the process of writing in itself helps a lot to get out of a form of writer's block, no matter what you actually put to paper. Even if it is just switching off your mind and writing gibberish. Sometimes useful things do come from that... but the idea is just to get your 'writing mind' rolling. So you could just write whatever comes to your mind until you are active, and then get started on the real work.

    Isn't that part of what NaNoWriMo is about? Just forcing yourself to get the word count done?

    As for actually being stuck in the plot... well, that is a tricky one. I suppose sitting down and brainstorming might help. Just trying to push the plot into a different direction, considering new options... I'm really not sure what the best thing would be to suggest.

    Other than that, yes, I think a change of scenery could also help, as it gives you new impressions during the writing process.
  8. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

    May 11, 2013
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    Virginia, United States
    I don't have these moments anymore. I've developed a pretty sturdy structure that helps me avoid writer's/creativity block.

    I free write a new story idea in a notebook until the story starts to take shape. Then I start laying out the chapters, one by one, in order. Sometimes a new idea will come and I'll pause or backtrack. If I get stuck in this portion, I go back to the first moment I felt stuck and replan that moment and everything after.

    Once I have a short synopsis of each chapter, I write. I don't get stuck because I know exactly where I'm going. And I don't let not feeling creative stop me. I just put words down. I don't care if all it says is, "she sits. She stands. She takes a drink of water then paces the room." Because to me, some words are better than no words. :p
    xanadu likes this.

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