22 February 2011

Writer's Block:
I Know Where I Want To Go But Don't Know How To Get There

Discover Where You Are Going to Prevent Writers Block
Writer's block is troubling for many writers. It can be very frustrating to arrive midway through a piece of writing only to loose momentum and stop. Here we will discuss a specific roadblock; not knowing how to get where you are going.

Again, let's cover the most basic step. You need an outline to overcome many of the causes of writer's block. This is no exception. If you know where you are going, you already have some sort of outline, even if it is just inside you head. Please don't leave it there. Write down you outline so that you have clear concept of your story.

To be honest, I could stop right here. If you don't have a well written outline, it is likely the cause of not knowing how to get there. Writing coach Shirley Schirz has posted an essay about how to formulate your outline step by step. Her essay should help you through the steps of creating a valid and useful outline.

Battle Writers Block with Good Transitions
But let's say you have your outline and still don't know how to bridge from one part to the next. This can happen because of lapses of time in your story, such as several years passing for the characters. It could be a location change. Perhaps a character needs to grow or change from one viewpoint to another, or from evil to good.

Things such as a time or location change are easy. These can be handled with a single introductory sentence or by starting a new chapter.

Character development and other plotted course changes might need more work. If you find that a mere sentence or new chapter don't handle the problem then your work probably needs a new chapter. If it is a smaller work, then this might be only a paragraph. If you simply can't jump from one place to another, then you need to take your reader by the hand and explain the evolution from one scenario to another. Your work will certainly not suffer from this added information.

A Little Goes a Long Way to Fight Writers Block
This can especially be a problem for beginning writers. It can seem that all this extra writing should not be necessary. Sorry to say that it is. A book or an article is an explanation. You are taking the idea from your head and laying it out to the reader. If you leave something out, readers are not going to fill in the blank. It is tempting to think they will but it rarely happens that way. One has to be a very seasoned writer to succeed at that task. And really, the seasoned writer is giving enough information, not leaving it out.

Brainstorming these "missing chapters" can be fun. You get to explore your characters, the setting, the action or the plot line. The piece you are working on can only improve.

If you don't know how to proceed into this new chapter or section, write it down sloppily. Create two or three version without taking too much time doing it. You are not writing your new chapter, you are stimulating your imagination. One of these hastily written version will appeal to you. If not, write a few more. You'll get the one you want eventually.

Splurge on Words to Prevent Writers Block
Never believe that words are precious commodities that you can only produce in small numbers. Splurge. Write, write write. It can only improve your skills. Don't hold back. As always, feel free to create a folder to store these scribblings and label it anything you like. I'd label it "Brainstorming for (title)." Believe me when I say that I have massive amounts of digital "garbage" stored inside my computer. I am certain these unused writings have strengthened my abilities over the years.

Writers Block Overview
Overview: 1. Create a well-made outline. 2. Don't be afraid to add new information or even a new chapter to bridge the gap. 3. Brainstorm with lots of writing to stimulate your imagination.

I'll be back soon with more advice on writer's block.
I hope this has helped.

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