I don’t usually suffer writer’s block, but there are times when I feel stuck on a plot point. Most often, this happens when I am trying to think of an original and fresh way of solving a plot problem. Frustration is the operative emotion, but I’ve learned a few ways to get through.
Writing Tip for Today: What are some ways to get unstuck?
- Stop Trying. So many things in life work better when I don’t try so hard. The basic advice to “write crap” applies. A self-conscious writer is apt to write overwrought prose. A writer who can allow the creative solution to burble out of a deep place probably isn’t trying to manage himself. By easing off the pressure to solve the problem, you allow your creativity (often residing in the subconscious) to emerge.
- Play the What If? Game. You can do this alone or with trusted writers/crit partners. Extrapolate the results if your character does something, from worst case scenario to the most unlikely possibility. Remember, all action your character takes has an effect on the story.
- Write a Letter. If you write as though your character was speaking to you in a letter, you’re once again letting your subconscious help define the goals and problems of that character. Allow the character to pour out her heart to you as you write, probing for deep emotions. Alternately, you can write scenes that aren’t a part of the story, just to understand your character in more depth.
- Question: What do YOU do if you get stuck?