Writer's Block Advice

Posted by: Chris Angotti on 11/16/2012

Feeling stuck? Read your fellow novelists' ideas for combatting writer's block. Take breaks, be daring, add twists; do whatever works for you and your story. Onward, Wrimo. The second half of your story awaits.


Take a break! Read your favorite books; listen to your favorite music; don't be afraid to ask others for help with a story problem. – nevillegirl

Inspiration is not likely to come while you stare at a blank white page. Go out and do something! Give your imagination some ideas. – nicolets

I find my ideas flow better when using pen and paper than typing. So when that dreaded foe comes along, pick up the mighty tools and see what happens. – ShelbyTacoma

Keep writing anyway, even if it's stupid nonsensical drivel you may just delete later. The word count's what matters now. Besides, it might end up being more valuable than you think. – blogmaniac15

Put in a plot twist. It doesn't matter if it's contrived, nonsensical, or random; it just needs to inspire another scene or idea so you can keep writing. My best advice is just to keep writing, even if it's awful or embarrassing or makes no sense. Revision's for December. – Onnedhiel

If you're stuck in the middle of a boring conversation, or you just killed one of your characters and don't know where to go from there, jump to another scene. Create a new character. Kill a character. Have a giant monster leap into the room! This is NaNoWriMo we're talking about here. You can write pretty much anything you want into your novel. – Cassandra Greenback

Develop a little trick to help you. What I do, as a fantasy writer, is I imagine an old, smoky tavern. There's an old man on a stool in the corner, everyone else gathered around him. He's telling the story I'm trying to tell, just not on paper. It's like me telling a friend what happened on the train yesterday. It's worked for me every single time. – Cosby

Envision your novel as a movie. Ask yourself, "What needs to happen in my story to surprise, confuse, delight, or intrigue the viewer?" – xander_was_here

Okay, this may sound babyish, but act out what you want to happen next. Remember when you were little and you played pretend? That's exactly what you need to do. – EmberSpot

Something that has helped me with writer's block in the past is the fellow NaNo writers. Ask other participants for advice or ideas, and return the favor once in a while to another writer in need. NaNoWriMo is here to help us. – hockey2

Remember why you felt this was such a good idea, and where you want the story to go. Or if that doesn't work, blow something up (in your novel, of course). It works all the time. – epotts

Don't listen to that nagging voice in your head saying, "My characters stink" or "My story is stupid." It's wrong. – Caught-Chasing-Time

Give it a break. If you've been staring at the computer for hours, you're just hurting your brain. Take a walk, play a card game, read a book, practice some yoga, whatever it is that helps calm you down and doesn't involve a screen of any kind. – amazing_grace_for_peace

Either go to the Dare Machine or ask your friends. They have lots of ideas that can get you past writer's block or get you thinking about other possibilities. – GingerSnap12

Just write. As much as you might dislike freewriting, it's probably the best thing for you. Write a bloopers chapter for your novel where one of them gets a love potion or a million dollars. Write a random short story even if it has nothing to do with your novel. Just keep writing. – -AJ-

Don't think of it as "writer's block." Try thinking of it as "writer's crevice." You're on one side of the crevice (or have fallen in), so build a bridge (or ladder) to get yourself where you need to go. – emeraldgem99

If you're really stuck, ask your characters. No one knows that story like you or your characters. How do they feel? What would they do next? Or maybe what would you do next? Remember there is also a super cool Dare Machine to help! – Patch9891

I've found that I don't get writer's block because I love my world. That's my advice: love your world. Make it your escape, your refuge. Long for it. If you love it enough, you always have something to say about it. – teamedward524

My favorite method is picking a scene (usually the climax or falling action of my story) where drama and angst are at their height, and then writing the whole thing down. Do this even if you are nowhere near that scene; it may feel like some form of cheating, but it provides a kind of "connect-the-dots" outline to your story. – Nikileid

Step 1: Admit you have a problem.

Step 2: Identify your problem. Do you need a villainous motive? A unique magical power? A scene between two that you already wrote? Well, if you're like me, there's no answer. When I get writer's block, I have absolutely no idea how to move forward... and I lack a plot. If that's your problem, then proceed to Step 3. Otherwise, identify what you need to find to continue on.

Step 3: Listen to a few songs and pick out a random lyric. Maybe you'll find something that will give you inspiration. If not, maybe you'll just find a great song.

Step 4: If you're still stuck, then just step away. Don't forget about it completely- just lead your novel to the fringes of your mind. Your muse will impart upon you great wisdom if you become unsuspecting enough. – frogdaisy

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