Making Writer’s Block Your Bitch Via Avoidance

Alrighty besides a person or two on twitter I’ve had several high school students text or call me because they need help with their writing. More specifically they’re talking about writer’s block or the dreaded forgetting what comes next syndrome. I am no expert believe me BUT I seem to be able to get over these woes really rather quickly. Nothing I say is guaranteed to work for you but it has worked for me and several others so why not give some of it a try? What do you got to lose? You’re not doing anything productive on the piece that you want anyways so you might as well waste the time trying to do something? Yeah?

Now a young author on twitter always complains that he forgets what’s supposed to happen next. He’s written out the first chapter all is wonderful and smooth. Bed time. Zzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzz. Wake up go to school or work (you know whatever it is that you do) come home and BAM nothing. Zip. Zilch. The wonderful high that you had last night is now gone. Poof. 

Well shit. 

What to do now?

Do you know why this happened to yourself? Hmmm?

I do.

You didn’t jot it down. 

Wait? What? It cannot be that simple!

Oh yes it can my friend. 

Here is what I do when preparing to begin another book. Ready?

1. Buy an idea notebook.
Mine is a little hardcover purple book like notebook that is held closed by an elastic strap. That’s it. Easy to carry or it fits easily in my purse. I get an idea I jot it down and continue my day. That’s it. Plain and simple. Got it a Barnes and Nobles for like $3.

Or use the notes in your phone. That also easily works BUT if you break you’re phone or something everything will be lost. Phones are much easier to break than a little notebook. 

2. Get a general idea for the book.
I know what you’re thinking. Well no shit Lor. Now chill out I told you I’d tell you what I do and this what I’m doing so get you’re panties out of twist. 

By general idea I mean a full idea. Beginning. Middle. End. Things can be fuzzy or even indistinguishably hazy but the idea is there.  

What if my idea isn’t fully formed? I’ve only got my beginning, the middle is kind of there and my end is nonexistent. HELP!!!

Do nothing. What!? Nothing? Yep. Nada. Sit on it. Let the idea form don’t forget to jot it down first though. I sat on an idea for a over a year. Yes. OVER A YEAR before I finally found a voice for that book. It’s now Tell Me So, Even If It’s a Lie. 

Don’t be afraid to let your idea morph and grow into something else. My original idea was something way different over a year ago. Now it’s better I believe and I am able to make it fit into the Emotio series. 

But Lor I want to write it now!

One of two things will happen if you write it before the idea is all there. 1) You write it and it turns out wonderfully! You never needed the whole idea to be there because as you write your characters told you what needed to happen and everything is peachy keen. 2) You begin. You’re excited. You dive right in. Everything is going great. It’s all working out. Until chapter five or even eight… then you’re excitement gurgles dead because you have no direction. You stall. The enthusiasm you had not so long ago has turned into resentment because you’re overly frustrated because you have no direction.You don’t know where to go from here

Now the question is which writer are you? The one who doesn’t need a solid direction? Or do you need everything somewhat planned out before you begin like me? Only you can answer that for yourself.

Already now that’s taken care of… moving on…

3. Outlines are your friend. Trust me.
First things first. Write up an overall outline. What’s an overall outline? Welllll it’s a general outline of you’re whole book. Nothing to specific (unless you’ll feel you will forget). Major things like an important meeting, a shift in perspective, battle, a delicious encounter,  a minor detail that turns into something bigger, or a new scene. Anything that I feel is directly related to the mentioned major happenings I put underneath that point in bullets.

Usually for a 50,000 to 60,000 word book I’ll have 3ish pages of an overall outline.

But don’t let what I do affect what is right for you. Write it however you feel you should. 


Now from the overall outline I write the individual chapter outlines. I am a freak for symmetry so I try to have each chapter around 3,000 to 3,500 words. If it’s a little under or a little over I don’t sweat it. Major over or under and I may panic… May.

Anywho the first time I did this I was O.o eyed because I always seemed to not get enough words out of an outline or too many. Now though I pretty much know what I can get out of what content. Don’t get my wrong sometimes I fall flat on my face. Why? Because I  put to much into one outline. But I’d much rather have to much content and split the outline and end up with two chapters than just one. Yeah?

4. No matter how much I plan sometimes…. writer’s block has me corned! 
CALM DOWN! Breath. That’s it. Inhale. Exhale. Center yourself. 

Now that you’re calmish let us continue. Ok you’ve got your idea. Your outlines are all finished. Perhaps a chapter or two is typed up. Or even just the introduction and then you’re stuck. Or maybe you’re stuck on of the chapter outlines? That’s exactly what happened to me.

The overall outline for This Isn’t Love, This Isn’t Me wrote pretty smoothly (other than the fact that I cried). Moving on to the individual chapter outlines I wrote all the way up to chapter eleven and then BOOM I got nothing. 

I had what is supposed to happen in the overall outline but I didn’t know how I was going to lace together what I just wrote seamlessly into what I have in the overall. Something seemed to be missing but what? Well damn. Hmmm. This is a problem now isn’t it?

I didn’t even worry over it. Nope. I set it aside and continued writing my other outlines for two other books. About a day later I finished the other outlines and still nothing has budged in my block. Oh well. 

I want to say about a week went past before I’d finally had enough. Now I was just procrastinating. Lazy to the extreme in regards to this book. So I typed the individual chapter outlines that I had. Re-read what I’ve already done. Got paper. Pen. And began scribbling ideas. I used what I already had and began to fill in the blanks. So what if what I scribble is complete nonsense. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I’m doing something. 

After a few minutes of scribbly scrabble something amazing began to happen… an actual workable idea began to emerge. Well hott damn… so now when I’m done with this post I’m going to write the last bit of This Isn’t Love, This Isn’t Me‘s outlines and be done with it!

Yay! Go me.

Wait Lor that doesn’t work for me. What should I do now?

That doesn’t? Well than you’re freak. Juuust kidding.

Why not let your characters free? Do a fun short where they can express themselves better and not have to worry about following a plot or worry about some impending doom that they can’t see coming but somehow know that it is anyway? 

Perhaps see them as people instead of just figments for you to torture. “Talk” to them in your head. I know, I know, that sounds silly but you never know. 

5. Remember this and you’re golden.
You are a writer. Published or not. 

You are only as blocked as you allow yourself to be. 

A work sits uncompleted because you allow yourself to sit in procrastination.

You are caged by your own self.

Well there you have it! My little say so on making writer’s block your beeotch! If there’s anything more specific do feel free to comment below or email me!

With Affection,

About Lor Rose

I am an author and press owner. The articles are posted, the writing is never done, the house is a mess. It's time for a nap.

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012, in GBLTQ. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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