Things I do to beat writer’s block

mhYv67w-BThere have been times when I write freely and times when I stare at a blank screen or sheet of paper. For some reason, nothing shows up. Writer’s block is perfectionism whispering in your ear. There is fear in making a mistake or some other ridiculous notion. Or you have ideas but are not ready to start writing. It’s okay.

So what do I do? I step away. I go for a walk. I read. I watch TV. I listen to music. I call a friend. Things that make me laugh usually stir the creative juices. Then I return and start with one word. If I have to write or type that word a few times to get going, I do. Most of the time, something develops. If writing doesn’t happen that day, it happens the next. Continue reading

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Know Thy Characters

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“Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King
Cartoon by George Booth Copyright 1993

I discovered something this week. If you’re writing a story, you need to know your characters — well. I had created a brief workup on supporting characters that included appearance and a few interests. But I neglected to get at their core. I started writing without any real knowledge of who they were. Because I didn’t know them well enough, I mixed two of them up. I couldn’t remember who did or said what a chapter or so behind. I didn’t know how each would react.

Grant it, we get to know more about our characters as our stories unfold. But without an outline that includes more than the basics, we can get stuck. So I went back to a few books in my writing library and searched the internet for advice on Writer’s Digest. Continue reading

The Write Time

nTh9Mm8_rgbstockI decided to create a writing schedule for myself so that no matter what, at a certain time of the day, I’d write for at least an hour. I started with an hour, because it didn’t feel as intimidating as two. Although I have read about authors who write for about two hours or more each day. I’ve chosen the end of the day, because I’m job hunting and even if I freelance, it will need to be on my own time.

I am at a stalemate with characters and the storyline for a children’s book. I’ve done my research, it happens. Sometimes the best thing to do is to put it aside and work on other things. Taking a break creates enough space so that a new perspective can develop. Continue reading