Writing Stall: Black, Blue & Red Rule Enforced. If you’re not broken, bleeding or in need of bail money, do not knock.

OKAY. I’M NOT so much blocked as stymied with a scene that’s been giving me trouble. First problem is, I’ve got too much going on. And while, yes, it’s funny, it doesn’t move the plot. It’s going to get axed into a blood bath that’s going to a visceral as the Game of Thrones Red Wedding. But I’ve made up my mind to get my sticky little fingers off of it. For now. And I’ve been fretting with it, yelling at the characters and rewriting  I did the XXX to do a search/find, and  move on, otherwise I’m going to be chasing my *tale* for two more weeks.

And if you’re really suffering writer’s block (or running in circles like me) here are a few things you can do to get over it:

When it comes down to it, First Drafts are the blue collar work of powering through and getting done. Start hacking away. Begin trying stuff. Sometimes, the quirkier, the better. The trick is find something that works for you.

  • Get outside. Go for a walk, throw a stick for the dog, watch your cats play ice hockey.
  • Eliminate distractions–I’ve affixed a sign on the door to my Writing Cage (yes, I call it a Cage: Black, Blue & Red Rule Enforced. If you’re not broken, bleeding or in need of bail money, do not knock.
  • Use a different side of your brain. I paint, do home improvements, write haiku. Whatever works for you.
  • Change your environment–to to a little coffee shop, a crowded mall for people watching–whatever works for you. I used to like to go to my little island, aptly named Cauley Island in honor of my heroine. I can’t go there anymore because Ex is still there with his Next Ex Wife.
  • Read a book.
  • Write longhand.
  • Listen to music (try classical or jazz to mix it up).
  • Brew some coffee or tea.
  • Create a routine. It’s like The Field of Dreams–If you build it, they will come.
  • Spend time with someone who makes you feel good.
  • Brainstorm ideas with writer buddies.

Forward motion is critical. You need to generate momentum to get out of your funk.

For right now, I’m going for my silver bullet solution–forget prose for now and go for dialogue that moves the story along. It’s kind of like screenwriting. Try it.

You can write. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Just type a few words. They don’t have to be good (all first drafts suck). As Nora Roberts, one of the most prolific writers I know, says you can fix a broken page. You can not fix a blank page.


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