by Pamela S. Meyers, @pamelameyers
You’ve got a great idea for a story, then sit down to map it out and your mind goes blank. Or you are in the middle writing a story that is already plotted and you start to write the next chapter and you can’t find the right place to start the scene. Do you throw in the towel, get up from the computer and go to a movie, thinking maybe the movie’s storyline will jumpstart your muse.
Writer’s block can strike any writer, newbie or veteran, at any time. Here are five ways I’ve overcome this problem. Maybe one of them will help you.
- Find books written by good writers in the same genre and start reading. I often find by reading a few pages by an author I like and appreciate, helps me to jump the hurdle of the beginning first sentence of the book or scene.
- Take it a step further and type out the scene verbatim. When I’ve done this, it’s as if my brain finds it’s groove after a page or two and I can then switch to my own story and the words begin to flow. This has worked for me and, in case you’re wondering, I haven’t started to write in the other author’s voice.
- Use writing prompts. Writers Digest used to have a monthly column devoted to the writing prompt of the month. I don’t think it’s a feature anymore, but I Googled for writing prompts and came up with dozens of hits. One of the most interesting was a website with a variety of different prompt types from first lines to character personalities to character names. Check it out for yourself at http://writingexercises.co.uk/.
- Leafing through a writing magazine can help get the juices flowing. There are others besides Writers Digest, but since that’s the one I have handy, I just scanned the recent copy and found articles on putting emotion into your storyline and characters, an article on how to sharpen your story through studying criticism of others’ stories, and an entire section following the theme of love. When I read about how to make my writing better, I begin chomping at the bit to head to the keyboard and get writing.
- Just do it. Forget the gimmicks and prompts and sit down at the computer and start free writing. What you write today may not be your best writing, but it will get your brain into the writing mode and hopefully wake up your muse. Who knows? You may even like what you write today better than the first idea you had about the story.
Do you have tried and true methods for breaking writers block? Please share!
Chicago lawyer Sydney Knight and Texas bull rider Jace McGowan have nothing in common but everything to lose when they are thrust together during a weekend rodeo in rural Illinois. Sydney is determined she’ll get Jace out of his contract and return to Chicago with her heart intact, but Jace is just as determined to help her see they are meant to be together. Can a city girl with roots deep in Chicago and a bull-riding rancher with roots deep in Texas give themselves a second-chance love?
Pamela S. Meyers lives in northern Illinois with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Second Chance Love, and Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (a reissue of Love Finds You in Lake Geneva). Her novellas include: What Lies Ahead, in The Bucket List Dare collection, and If These Walls Could Talk, in Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Midwestern spots for new story ideas.