Help . . . I’m Stuck!

Posted by Michelle Griep for author Sarah Ladd
Author Sarah Ladd
Has this
ever happened to you? You are writing a novel. You love the characters. You are
excited by the plot. But WHAM! You hit a wall a few chapters in, and you don’t
know what to write next.
Some call
it “writer’s block,” but whatever you call it, it can be discouraging and
frustrating. Every writer struggles with this at some point, but there are
certain things you can do to get yourself out of a writing slump. Here a few
ideas to help you get “unstuck” and get the words flowing again:

Have fun with backstory
Is a character in you novel causing you to stumble in your story?  Take a few minutes and write a scene about
the character’s early life … a scene from their childhood or an interaction
with his or her parents. Chances are that this scene will never make it into
your final manuscript, but occasionally just getting back to the basics with
your character and learning more about his or her motivations can add spark to
your story and keep you forging ahead.
     Point of view switch
If you are having trouble getting a scene to flow, why not try
switching the POV of that particular scene? 
Sometimes, taking a look at a situation from another character’s
viewpoint can shift the scene’s momentum and get you back on the right track.
     Get inspired with setting
If you write in a historic time period or specific setting, watch a
movie that takes place in a similar setting. 
Or, if you are a Pinterest user, consider taking a few minutes to create
a visual board for your book. This is a great way to engage other parts of your
brain in the creative process.
Make the time to read.
Read, read, read!
Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the
tools) to write. Simple as that.”  And
that is so true! If you loose your inspiration or can’t figure out where to go
next with your story, read a book by an author you admire. Read a classic. Read
a book on the craft of writing. Sometimes, just getting your head out of your
own story and spending some with other words with jump-start your creativity.

     Talk it out
Have a good writer friend?  Give
them a call. Meet with them for coffee for a quick brainstorming session. Sometimes,
just talking about your story out loud can make you think about your novel in a
different light. Who knows, you and your brainstorming partner might even come
up with a fresh idea or two to get your book moving in the right direction!
     Take a little break
     Tight timelines and busy schedules make us feel like we
need to be writing during every free second we have. But often that can be
counter-productive. Take a walk. Exercise. Go shopping. Take your mind off of
the words. Sometimes, giving yourself a little space from your project can renew
your vigor for your story.
Do you
have a tip for getting “unstuck” when writing? 
Share it with us in the comments section – we’d love to hear it! 
Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the
Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college
trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave
her idea of what life would’ve looked like in that era. It wasn’t until 2010
that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book
in the Whispers on the Moors series, The Heiress of Winterwood (2013). That title
was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance and is
a finalist in the Debut Author category of the 2014 Carol Awards. The second
book in the series, The Headmistress of Rosemere (2013), was on the
ECPA best-seller list for several months. Her upcoming release, The Curiosity Keeper, will release in
July 2015. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a
graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and
marketing. Ladd lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter and spunky Golden
To keep up with Sarah E. Ladd, visit, become
a fan on
 Facebook (Sarah Ladd Author) or follow her on Twitter (@SarahLaddAuthor).