13 Tips to Break Through Writer's Block

7:53 AM

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It happens when your characters stop talking to you. Or you can't tiptoe around that giant plot hole any more. Or you are stuck at a crossroads. Your MC could kidnap a dragon or jump off the cliff. Your mind has blanked, and the words just aren't coming.

Writer's Block is not a myth. It is not a personal failure. It just happens sometimes. Don't get stuck on it. Don't let it stop your writing. Push past it with these tricks:

1) Move on. 
Mark that section and move to the next most interesting scene / idea / character. This is a first draft. You will go back to it and fix it later.

2) Change your environment or perspective. 
Sitting at your desk at home? Go to the coffee shop. No money? Sit on top of your desk. Under your desk. Upside down on the couch. Go for a walk. Solo dance party.

3) Interview Yourself. 
Congratulations! You are the next John Green and Jimmy Fallon is asking you all about this scene in particular (it was his favorite). Ask his questions out loud. Now answer them. (You can be evasive if you don't know the answer, but he'll probably press for details. Just saying.)

4) Explain it in person to a friend. 
"X is here doing this, and Y decided to do this because..." They will ask questions you never considered.

5) Music 
Change up your writing soundtrack. Try a movie or video game soundtrack.

6) Write from someone else's perspective
Tell the scene from the antagonist's or sidekick's view. This might open you to new thoughts on your protagonist.

7) Write a journal or letter style entry 

8) Describe something in the room in detail. 
You're really stumped now. Totally blocked. Look around and describe one mundane thing. Just keep describing it until the writing flows again. Think about how your character would react it.

9) Change it up 
Got a serious literary novel? Throw in something comedic. Writing a humorous tale? Give your MC terribly depressing news.

10) Brainstorming 
Grab a pencil and paper. Set a timer for 10 mins and write down everything you can think of relating to this part of your story. If you blank, take a step back and write down something that just happened in the previous scenes.

11) Write Fan Fic 
Throw your MC into your favorite show or bring those beloved characters into your world. Don't worry about making the scene work; you'll throw it out in December. Use the characters you know well to show you more about your own MC.

12) WWRD?
What Would Rowling (or insert favorite author here) Do? Pretend to write like that author and see what turns up.

13) Write Something Personal 
Pull on your own experiences of feeling insecure, overwhelmed, stressed, or sad. Rip open those wounds. After you've dug deep, attribute those feelings to your MC and see what happens.

What are your favorite ways to break through writer's block? Share them in the comments below!

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