This lesson will describe how to start writing again after doing what you already do - enjoy yourself! Watch a movie. Read a book. Glance through the newspapers.
Lesson One: Using other media
This is one
of the easier and more effective methods of defeating writer’s block. I’ve
divided the lesson into small groups based on what media you wish to use. Make
sure you watch a movie you would normally enjoy or read a book that you already
had on your library wait list. Also, don’t choose a movie or book that’s
designed to make you think; the goal is to be inspired, not enlightened.
a movie you wish to enjoy.
and enjoy. (If you didn’t enjoy the movie, repeat step one) Make sure to
pay attention to the plot. In which situations could the plot have split
and gone somewhere different? Which character did you enjoy the most? Why?
Most importantly, was this genre and setting the sort that you would be
comfortable writing in?
writing journal or spare writing tablet, jot any ideas you’ve gathered. If
you’re feeling inspired, get to writing now!
movie you watched was part of a series, watch more films from this series!
your library or just browse Writers Café for a book you think you might
enjoy. If you choose the library, make sure to borrow several books in
case you choose a couple duds. You might want to consider the genre and
target age. Read the introduction; if the first three paragraphs haven’t
hooked you, give up on it.
reading journal and begin reading. In your journal, record thoughts and
suspicions about characters, foreshadowing clues, symbols, ideas of where
the plot will go, what you like about the book at certain moments, etc.
Study the book and the author’s style.
you’ve finished the book, take a moment to reflect. Use your journal. Were
there any plot holes? Where could the story have really gone elsewhere?
Who was the most important character? Did everything come together in the
end? Do you feel the story ended crisply?
you inspired? Write! If not, go to your next book and repeat steps three
Note: If your writer’s block seems undefeatable, I’d highly
recommend a romance novel. Find the most romance of romance novels. If it doesn’t
have two gorgeous models half-garbed in ancient clothes, or if the pages aren’t
orange and yellow, you haven’t looked hard enough. Romance novels are notorious
for their detailed flowery language, easily-manipulated characters, the vocabulary
and their plot holes the size of craters. These make lots of food for
inspiration for blocked writers.
Newspapers, Magazines, Journals:
to a local newspaper, magazine, journal or other news outlet if you haven’t
will need a box, scrapbook, tin or other container. Whenever you see an
interesting story in the paper, clip it out and put it in this container.
You can also clip pictures of people, places or events that may be useful
you feel you’ve gathered enough clippings, lay all of them in front of
you. You may use tape, markers or whatever you need to organize them. Try
to formulate a plot. How could these events be related in another world?
Car accidents, new laws, dramatic conspiracies – you never know what can
be linked together.
formulate characters and links for the tale. Write all of your ideas down
so you don’t forget.
while listening to the radio or a friend’s CD, you hear a song that
inspires you, write your thoughts down.
is a friend’s CD you’re listening to, make sure to ask to borrow the CD,
or ask for the name of the song and artist so you can get it later.
music only gets you so far, such as a setting for a story you don’t know
the rest of. Parts and pieces are valuable, though, so write these down.
NOTE: As you may guess, a journal is critical to recovering
from writer’s block. Keep one wherever you go. You never know when a great idea
will hit you. Just don’t do what I do; never ever write while operating a vehicle. Pull over if you have to!
NOTE: Never steal an author’s creativity. Falling in love with
pirates or princes is fine if you’ve just read a great tale of their
adventures, but there is a bold line
between fan fiction and an original book.
ONE LAST NOTE: This method isn’t likely to help you write a
best-selling novel, but it will help you with the block until more ideas flow