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Extreme writer's block!Same thing happened with book#1


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#1 Caterina

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:47 PM

I don't know why, but I can not write anything new for book#2. Stress maybe?

Anyone have advice to get over this hump?

#2 TansyRagwort

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:49 PM

I find the best tools for me are a set of headphones, some great music (determined by the mood of the scene), and a little free writing beforehand. Love free writing. It leads to the craziest things. Like a story about a dancing frog. LOL. Not that you share those things. It's just to get you going. Then you can switch to the WIP.

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#3 thrownbones

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:00 PM

I'm really in the camp that believes that if you're suffering from writer's block, it's because you're just not sure of the story. You just really don't know what the fuck to write next, etc.

I would say, that if that were true, then step back and really look at your story idea. Is it as fleshed out as you need it to be? Do you really like it? What parts of what you've written (or are thinking about writing) give you that feeling in the middle of your chest that says, "well, I'll just put that in and fix it later." THOSE are the places that might be the keys to unlocking your story to the next level.

I've never suffered from writer's block... until last month. I'd just started on the first rewrite for my new editor. I have expectations of what this new version should be, as does she. That's... intimidating for me, as there is now money on the table, and people are expecting me to deliver the goods, at the specified time.

Maybe your block is sort of like that? You have expectations, and the book is working on you, subconsciously? A part of you knows, even a part that you're not really aware of, yet, that the story is not what you were hoping for? And yeah, this speaks back to what I wrote earlier, I know.

Other than all of this, just stepping back, taking a breath, and re-evaluating might be the solution to your current situation.

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#4 bigblackcat97

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:06 PM

I'm really in the camp that believes that if you're suffering from writer's block, it's because you're just not sure of the story. You just really don't know what the fuck to write next, etc.

I would say, that if that were true, then step back and really look at your story idea.


I totally agree with bones, right up to where he says step back and really look. Because my answer is the same right til then - I say, just step back. If it's not ready to be written yet, it's just not. You don't want a preemie.

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#5 Paul Dillon

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:26 AM

Hi Caterina,

I'm with Tansy on this. If I go 30 minutes and can't write anything, I open a new word doc and write whatever comes to mind. After a couple of paragraphs, I seem to be able to move on with my MS. I'm starting to go back to the doodling and have turned one into a short story.

#6 Kristina

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

I've found out a useful method. Step back from your computer, take a notebook and write there for the next several days. Sometimes it's just that technology bothers me and I need an 'old-fashioned' way to express all the thoughts.

Also, the writer's block is something that happens just in your head, so here's what I've done once. I imagined I talked to the MC of my current WIP(though I was actually shouting) and I told her I'm gonna step away from her story and never come back(=making character jealous) because my other characters beg me to consider what they have to say. Half an hour later, I've had more inspiration than I asked for. Sounds crazy, but works for me! :biggrin:
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#7 Caterina

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:19 PM

Great suggestions from all of you! I'm going to try each one, but I must agree with Bones the most because now that I think about it - I might not be happy with where my story is going. -_-

I'm going to blast some music, step back, write whatever comes to mind, and make my MC jealous (lol Kris) and see if that does something for me. Otherwise I might have to erase some big parts to see if that was why I am unhappy.

It's so difficult to continue a story when romance is involved (for me anyways) because my books are supposed to be centered around horror.

#8 Tom Preece

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

This is probably a pedestrian response to maybe a bigger problem, but I use a technique to avoid writers block that I know is used by other professionals.

I always start the writing day by reviewing/rewriting my last chapter, even if I have done it to that particular chapter before. There always something one can improve and almost always when I get to the end, I have rediscovered what the next story point is.

Tom P

#9 thrownbones

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

Great suggestions from all of you! I'm going to try each one, but I must agree with Bones the most because now that I think about it - I might not be happy with where my story is going. -_-

I'm going to blast some music, step back, write whatever comes to mind, and make my MC jealous (lol Kris) and see if that does something for me. Otherwise I might have to erase some big parts to see if that was why I am unhappy.

It's so difficult to continue a story when romance is involved (for me anyways) because my books are supposed to be centered around horror.



Trust me: romance and horror are closer together than you think. :laugh:

The first Mark Mallen novel, Untold Damage, is now available via Midnight Ink! Look for the second Mark Mallen novel, Critical Damage in April of 2014 (Should we all be here, natch).

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#10 Paul Dillon

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:25 PM

This is probably a pedestrian response to maybe a bigger problem, but I use a technique to avoid writers block that I know is used by other professionals.

I always start the writing day by reviewing/rewriting my last chapter, even if I have done it to that particular chapter before. There always something one can improve and almost always when I get to the end, I have rediscovered what the next story point is.

Tom P


Tom,

I do this too.

#11 Joey

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:08 AM

Agree w/Tom Preece and Paul Dillon.

Revision brings clarity.

What works for me is try to imagine where you last left off w/the characters, like a soap opera in your mind. What has to happen next to keep the action going?

What are they *needing* to do? Sometimes reframing things (like watching them) is easier for plot than writing what needs to happen. Just step away from the keyboard for a while and imagine..think. Let the characters speak.

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#12 Jamber

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

I've found out a useful method. Step back from your computer, take a notebook and write there for the next several days. Sometimes it's just that technology bothers me and I need an 'old-fashioned' way to express all the thoughts.

Also, the writer's block is something that happens just in your head, so here's what I've done once. I imagined I talked to the MC of my current WIP(though I was actually shouting) and I told her I'm gonna step away from her story and never come back(=making character jealous) because my other characters beg me to consider what they have to say. Half an hour later, I've had more inspiration than I asked for. Sounds crazy, but works for me! :biggrin:


Love that Kristina! Means your characters are alive.

#13 Michael Steven

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:36 PM

Yeah, I have writer's block right now with a work in progress. I know where the story needs to go, but I'm not sure how to get it there. What's always worked for me, though, is to ... Just Write. If it doesn't work, I can toss it out.

This is where a beta-reader is helpful. Write up that scene. Let it stew for a bit. Do a quick edit then let the beta-reader at it. The times I've done that, the beta-reader has invariably come back and said "this doesn't have your voice" or "I'm confused by what happened here" or some other comment. They point out passages that didn't work and then lo and behold, the idea jumps out with what I wanted, what I knew was there and just couldn't grasp.

You can't do that if you don't have something down on paper! Just write, even if you know it sucks :wink:
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#14 Michael Steven

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:43 PM

Trust me: romance and horror are closer together than you think. :laugh:

:laugh: I can verify that! I even wrote a short story over this past Christmas/New Years that used it! :happy:
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#15 Mr. C

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:17 AM

Dear Caterina,

I have used free writing, which helps but there are times that I struggle with direction. I have so many things to say that I cannot put them in the correct sequence. If this is the case, then allow the outline to be a guide but nothing you must hold firm. If I find myself in this type of situation, I write in segments. I then move those segments around to put order to the chaos. After I step away for a brief moment, return and re-read the previous chapter. Once I have captured the flow of the story again, I continue to the next chapter and edit-write that new section. By the end of that chapter, I have recaptured the essence of my story’s creative form while adding a fresh perspective.

Another thing I am able to do is share with friends and family. I talk about parts of the book or future scenes, which gets me excited all over again. I use that momentum to carry me through difficult times. The discussions (brain storming sessions) create new directions based on the character’s personalities and situations. It brings a real-to-life feel to that section.

Lastly, I have learned that there are times when I struggle because I am trying to force ‘my way’ on the natural flow of the book which may not align with the life of the story. I try to recognize when the story is taking a new direction because of the characters and/or situation dictates it and allow it to happen. Over all, my stories have been close to what I foresaw but ultimately, there road to the end was not the same as each tiny path I had pre-chosen.

I also love to listen to soft music (preferably instrumentals) but there are times that my little brain needs a break from the extra distractions and truly needs the sounds of the book alone to resonate in the ears of my mind.

Hope this helps,

~ Tracey (Mr. C)

#16 Caterina

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:41 AM

Thanks you guys, your suggestions are really helpful. I had recently gotten over the hump and wrote three chapters, but now I'm back in it again! I'm going to try everything you guys said and see if that works.

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:37 PM

Thanks you guys, your suggestions are really helpful. I had recently gotten over the hump and wrote three chapters, but now I'm back in it again! I'm going to try everything you guys said and see if that works.


I find that when I'm blocked, it's because I really want to write something other than what I'm writing. For example, I may have an idea for a short story or a blog post or a poem or anything else. I'm trying to ignore it because I think I MUST keep going on the novel. But when I stop the novel and write the other thing, getting it out of my head, ideas for the novel flow freely again.

#18 Tom Bradley

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:28 PM

Have you tried writing something completely against genre and which has nothing to do with your WIP? Maybe a short story or even just scrawling stuff on a few pages could invigorate the old creative juices...




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