Just Say No To Writer’s Block by Jennifer Eaton

So, how are we all doing?  Having trouble getting started?  Ugh!  I hate that too.

Personally, I don’t believe in writer’s block.  What you need is just a little inspiration.  Where do you find inspiration?  Well, anywhere.

A good solid writer can make a story out of anything.  You just need to take that first step forward.

But how do you take that step?

Did you see a billboard or magazine advertisement this morning?  Take the person in that picture and write about them.  Are you stuck in the middle of your novel and don’t know where to go?  Read on, my friend, read on…

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Here is my method of getting started.  It has never failed me.  You need to start with a character or a setting.  Who or where does not matter.  Just start.

If it is a character, have them take a step.  If it is a scene, just show your reader where they are.  I am going to grab a name out of the air, and see what happens.  Okay?  John is the name.  Here we go:

“John shivered as the cool breeze slapped at his cheeks.  The walk ahead was long and hard, but he needed to make this journey.  More than anything else, he needed to find Geraldine.”

Now, I had no pre-conceived idea in my head when I started.  I just grabbed the name “John” out of the air, and added a setting element.  Within a few seconds, he was looking for someone named Geraldine, and that was completely unplanned.  Now, I just need to let the story “happen”.  The seeds have been planted.  John has to walk in the cold.  Where is he going?  Dunno, but I know it leads to Geraldine.  Isn’t that exciting?

The way I’ve use this method in the middle of a novel, is I take a character, have him sit outside a door, and actually write his thoughts as he figures out what he needs to do.  He doesn’t know what’s going to happen… you don’t know what’s going to happen either.  Just work it out together.

Now, you might not actually be able to use that 2-3 paragraphs that you write in that character’s POV, but just writing and “getting into their head” will start the creative juices flowing.

The important thing is to get words on the page.  Once they start flowing, you might be surprised how hard they are to stop.

Unfortunately, now I’m DYING to know more about John and Geraldine.  Ugh.  Another story begging to be written.

Good luck!

 ~*~

Jennifer Eaton

12 comments

  1. I have gotten a lot of help from the serial novel approach — posting something daily to a dedicated blog that is either private or public. I chose public. After 2.5 years of daily posting I had 2.5 finished novels for a series I’m writing. Never spent more than an hour on any post, if memory serves. You can either let it fly or be strategic. I chose to have a “next line” each day to keep thing rolling and link my posts as a coherent narrative.

  2. Great advice, Jennifer! When I’m having trouble, I write a diary entry from the character’s POV about the circumstance they’re in and that always works for me:) It’s so fun pretending to be someone else!

  3. That’s a good solid way to start a test mile. And really, if Geraldine is just next door making cookies, now we have to find out what she used in them because John was bringing the flour and sugar, 😉

      1. Well, there you go, Jennifer. So is it being written from the POV of the local constable, the pet shop owner or her ex-husband. Maybe her third grade daughter’s teacher?

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