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6 Ways To Get Through Writer's Block

It's a fight for finding the flow of the story, and here are some ways to power through to get to your plot.

By Samantha ParrishPublished 2 years ago 8 min read
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I've seen some advice that just says, "Just write and go from there." I'm one of those types of writers that just can't proceed with material I've written that I just don't have any faith or pride in. Even if it's just something to jot down and I'll fix it later, it just doesn't sit well with me that it needs to have some flow that can be fixed but it won't alter my whole story with parts that weren't elaborated to my liking. Sometimes there are moments in writing that you just can't push through and suffer through the frustrating bout of writer's block.

I have to keep going even if it means staring a piece of paper with stale scribbles that I've written and erased to the point the paper crumples.

It's awful to sit there and want this story to be continued, you can see it being finished and have the ambition, yet the pages are still bare because nothing comes to mind. On several occasions I've been dissatisfied with my progress I take with my books, I get jealous when I see someone has gotten progress with their work. Yet I am sitting with the eraser getting more work done then the pencil.

In my further evolution as a writer, I'm still learning to remember that I have to recharge my brain batteries and know that the story is going to be done. It'll take a while, but that just is the norm for the writer to be frustrated with how these pieces of fiction come together.

This is going to be a different list then most presented helpful pieces about how to deal when you are in a rut with writer's block. If you are going through a wrecked writer's block, I hope that this list can give you a new routine to follow or use some of these to accommodate to your routine as a writer.

1. Set Up A Media Section.

This is something I've put together recently for my creation station to have a media section. It's better then scrolling endlessly through Netflix, Hulu, or scanning my shelves when I can have a presented shelf to have at my grasp.

Most of my stories deal with crime, so I have a few crime movies at hand to watch. I also have affinity for shows and movies that have a writer as a main character, hence why I have three seasons of Girls and the movie Romancing The Stone

Inspiration comes from the pieces of media that played a part in how we create our stories. I can defiantly tell you that some of these films and TV shows played a part as something to rely on when I need to read or watch something to help me keep on track. It also just helps to have a certain show to watch that can be supplied as background noise.

2. Re-read your pieces

Remember how Guy Pierce tattooed himself to retrace his steps in Memento? This would be the less stressful one with less ink to think through a point in your writing that you can't quite figure out. As I have been writing the sequel to my book Inglorious Ink, chapter 12 has been fickle to figure out.

As I was progressing with the chapters, I felt like I lost the dark humor identity that I created. I lost touch with the way my characters became fluid and intriguing through this book.

I revised some edits on the first chapter, to polish it up. Going back to the beginning to read what I wrote, I got my tone established again in parts that it faltered. I got in touch with my characters again to continue their roles in the story. Now their motives and actions weren't muddled or lost in the continuation of the story. By doing this, it did lead me back to my current chapter I was working on, I freshened up the chapter from the stale status it was at.

It really does feel revitalizing to know the story had some work done to create some progress for the current chapter or to just clean up some plot points to be polished.

Sometimes you really do have to retrace your steps to find what your looking for.

3. Explore different plot points you wrote

When your working on your story, you'll have all these ideas for your character's future and plot development.

There's nothing with pausing the work on your story to go through your notes and create some excerpts to have for the future chapters. That way your still working and creating the parts you can't wait to elaborate on. Then that passage would be ready to be inserted into the story.

If you have anything at all, it doesn't hurt to see where that plot point can go. That plot point might be something you never penned as what would be the strong point for your book, or it could be the plot point you needed for the part you were puzzled with in your book to get you out of writer's block.

That's the thing that never gets old for me, I still get surprised when I elaborate a plot point that I never thought would have a part to play for the plot. It makes me excited to think that I created something that I can use for the future chapters or sequels and knowing that I have something to work towards in the plot to insert it. It could be that there was a plot point in my notes that was the key to get through my writer's block and set me back on my path to continuing the flow of the plot.

4. If you have to work while you relax, read books or watch shows that are within the genre of your book.

For writers, it is a non-stop process for thinking of plot points. Even in moments I am not working on my books, I'm still thinking about what will happen next for my character and how they are going to get out of the mess I created for them.

But then comes the frustrating thought of how am I going to get them out of the mess and how it would work for the rest of the story, that's when I got to get away from my station.

It is best to take a small breather away from your creative works to sit down and watch TV, but as mentioned, you probably haven't stopped thinking about your story development.

This can be tied to the first section I did about the media shelf to make for inspiration. This snippet to share is more along the lines of relaxation while your ruminating on your plot points.

I've watched certain shows or movies that did help me think of a different way to present a plot point or tone for a character.

Think of it as your just fueling your creativity while resting from constant erasing. Your just getting your energy and creative mind rejuvenated after inspiration.

5. Go For A Drive

Talk your dialogue outloud in the car, play a song your character would listen to.

As I was getting everything together for a chapter, I was having some tough progress on with the conversation these two characters have, I was glad I held off on the progress because there were some great ideas for the plot points to have. The characters were in the car and a certain song that played gave me an idea for the scene.

It's just best to be in a place where you are away from your work and you have no idea where you are going but you found your inspiration without having a destination.

6. Flip Your Fiction

If you feel that something just isn't right, you might have to pause on the process for your story can wait as you rethink the progress on how you want this story to play out. This might prolong your progress on getting back to your chapter but this could be an opportunity for clarity in the context that you are creating.

I have literally had to erase many pages of work I put into, knowing that it was now wasted material. I was disheartened to know I had to go back to the drawing board, but it was just better to not continue something I didn't have faith in.

You may end up changing a part that you didn't particularly care for in your character's development, placement within the story, or it just didn't make sense. It's better to have something you can elaborate on with the direction you want.

In the parts of plots I've been creating a scene, and then re-analyzed it to become aware that the part I've been writing didn't make any sense for the direction of my story or development for my characters. It may have increased my work load to find out how this direction would go in a different way that I had to carry out.

I would rather have a plot point that will take me longer to figure out in an extended branch of writer's block because I found the sense and logic of the story, then resume something that I know is bad and continue it despite the lack of logic.

As much as it's immensely frustrating to have these fiction friction moments to derail progress from the creative process. You still have to remember that this is your story, and it'll be done the way you see fit, no matter how long it takes. When you have found what incredible detail you'll add to get you out of writer's block, remember how invigorating that feels. Then you'll know that the invigorating feeling is worth going through to know that the success to your story will be accomplished. It might just take a random drive around town and worn out erasers to get there.

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About the Creator

Samantha Parrish

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My book Inglorious Ink is now available on Amazon!

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