Every writer has got to deal with it at a certain point: writer’s block.
Although I haven’t found a definite cure for it, I did find a few methods which might help you get a better overview of your story or look at your story from a different angle.
Most of these methods helped me to understand my protagonist and the story line better, making it easier to come up with new dialogues between my characters and creating a deeper sense of what my story is about.
Please keep in mind that I’m just an amateur who loves writing stories in her spare time. I don’t mean to say that I have all the answers, since I still “suffer” from writer’s block every now and then too 😉 Actually, I would love to hear about your tips and tricks, when dealing with writer’s block. So please don’t hesitate leaving your own thoughts on this blog 🙂
Fun (or not so fun) fact: I started writing this blog months ago, but then I got writer’s block and didn’t know how to continue this post. Just to say, writer’s block can occur anywhere, anytime and sometimes there’s nothing to do about it, but sometimes there is and I hope this article can be of some help at those moments.
1. Read your story again
Writer’s block is often a result of not knowing where you left off. What does your character really want to do? What does your character really want to say? If you cannot answer these questions or if you have the feeling that you’re telling the same tale over and over, maybe it’s best to read your story again.
Reread your opening sentences and try to remember what kind of vision you had in mind for your book when starting with writing. What kind of story did you want to tell? For whom were you writing?
Try to keep these questions in mind while rereading your story.
If you can’t answer these questions, try and take a closer look at your characters. What do they want to tell you? What are their greatest desires? What do they fear?
If you can’t make this up out of the story you’ve written so far, maybe you need to check the next step.
2. Do some background research
This step is actually the most fun one.
Often when I feel like I’m missing “the point” in my story, I look at my characters separately and try to figure out their background.
It helps you when you do this in a “diary-form” and date it a few years (or months or days…) before the time your story sets off.
Try to answer some seemingly ordinary questions that are crucial for getting to know your character: what does he/she like to do on a regular day? Does she go to school? Does she like learning? Where does she live?
Try to capture your character’s deepest emotions and desires and don’t rest until you get a grip on who your character really is.
By finding out where your character left off before the story even started, you get to know more about the choices and actions he/she will make throughout the story.
3. Become friends with your characters!
When you’re not writing (whether it’s because of writer’s block or because you don’t have your story at hand) there are still lots of opportunities to be occupied with your story.
Now we all know that taking a little notebook with you always can be a great help when you suddenly get an inspiration boost in a place where you can’t just go sit at your desk and write it down.
But not every idea just comes naturally and sometimes you just have to push it a little bit.
For example, by trying to figure out what your protagonist would do or think when he or she was here with you.
When you’re visiting your family for example, you could think of questions like: “does your protagonist have a strong bond with his/her family?” “is your protagonist very quiet and shy or is he/she really open and enthusiast towards others?” or even “does your character like cake?”.
All these questions could help you understand your protagonist (or any other character) better, so that writing from his/her perspective will become a lot easier.
4. Switch perspectives
There can be moments when you’re just 100% done with a certain character or situation that you’re trying to write about, but your protagonist is just not contributing and is being all stubborn, causing the entire story to take some very unwanted and unannounced turns.
Instead of trying to get your protagonist to help you by forcing your story to take a certain path, you could also try to write about another character. Maybe there’s another important character that wants to be heard and has some very crucial information to add to your story.
For example, you could try and describe a situation which you’ve written about before from the perspective of that other character. What was he or she thinking and/or doing when this happened?
By seeing things from a different perspective, you might be able to write more freely and thus, get new ideas about how to continue your story.
Maybe your other character notices something in the room that your protagonist hasn’t seen yet. Maybe your other character acts in a certain way which can cause your protagonist to react on him/her.
Or maybe you don’t want to switch back to your protagonist at all and you just write from two different characters’ perspectives from now on.
Those were my tips. I really hope that some people will be able to use them when writer’s block strikes again.
Feel free to leave your own writing tips down below! And also feel free to suggest new (writing) topics which you would want me to blog about! 🙂