This article is by Rachel Meyer.
Most of us have had writers block at one time or another. Our story is flowing freely and then something happens that jams up the story works. A scene isn’t going the way we thought, we aren’t sure what to do next, or we seem to have no inspiration.
That’s where the ideas in this post come into play. It will have a variety of suggestions for you to try when you’re stuck in that inspiration-less rut or don’t know what to do.
However, a quick word of warning. All of these ideas can also be used as ways to procrastinate when you’re stuck. You’ve got to have self-control and remember that these are to be used to get your creative juices flowing again, not browse Pinterest for an hour. No matter how tempting that may be.
Ideas for When You Don’t Know What to Do
Write a list
Write down all the ideas for what could happen next. No matter how stupid or crazy, just dump them all in. As you go, you’ll get some actually good ideas and you can pick from among those what is your best option. Or combine several.
Open a fresh document or get out a piece of paper and just talk to yourself about what could happen. Discuss options, debate different approaches, and think outside the box until you’ve figure out what to do.
Use the snowflake method
Write down where you are in the middle of the paper. Then make branches off of that with different options for what could happen. For each of those branches, make more with branches with more options. This method is great for exploring different options all at once.
If you know where you want to go, but don’t know how to get there, start at the end. Then work towards where you are one step at a time. It might take a little time, but it helps you figure out the progression of the story.
Ideas for When You Have No Inspiration
Look on Pinterest
Pinterest is a well of inspiration. If you need to get those creative juices flowing again. Search for something related to your story, like elves or urban fantasy. Hopefully you’ll see something that inspires you again. Or, if you’re unsure how to make something look, this method can also help you visualize.
Take a break
Sometimes what you need is to get away from your story for a while. Watch a movie, read a book, make a batch of cookies and don’t think about what you’re writing. When you come back, hopefully you’ll be recharged and ready to write again.
Go on a walk
Sometimes you also need to get outside and walk. Let your thoughts wander freely and help you figure out what you need for your novel.
Talk to someone
If you have a critique partner, or just someone familiar with your novel, sit down and talk to them. It will often help you to think of new ideas and they might have some helpful comments.
What Works For You?
One of my favorite ideas to use on this list is making a list. It really helps get my creative juices flowing. I used it recently in a novel I’m editing and I used it in combination with the work backwards idea. Between the two, I figure out how to get my protagonist between point A and B and what she would do in between.
What are some ways you work through writers block?
How do you use Pinterest to inspire you?
How do you keep from procrastinating when you’re stuck?
About the Author:
Rachel Meyer is a writer and reader who blogs at R’s Loft.