How To Work Through Writer’s Block
by Stella Brians
(Photo Used With Permission)
I think that at one time or another we all suffer writer’s block in different ways and for a variation of reasons. Often I work on two book projects at once along with other more minor literary related responsibilities sprinkled in. My books are each nearing the middle to end which means that the entire story and all of its characters are going to have to come together in a respectable, meaningful way that flows. Sometimes towards the end we sometimes feel that we have said all that we have to say in the duration of the novel.
But we haven’t of course, because there has to be an ending.
In my two novels there are sizable experiences that the characters must take into themselves and deal with. There are events that have yet to happen, to be explored fully. Sometimes I get stuck on scenes–especially ones in which there is heavy description of a new place. In my novel in progress: The Wanderings of Colin and Hazel, there is a building that is haunted. The area is which we temporarily live is not full of enchanting Victorian mansions or condemned buildings like Connecticut was so I had to improvise.
An avid horror and paranormal fan, I was not shaken at all by the ghost videos I watched on YouTube, or the documentary on insane asylums. I found them to be educational and a breath of fresh air. I myself have spoken to spirits but not quite in that sense.
In the documentary I paid close attention to the design, overall architecture and state of the buildings. I learned a little bit about padded rooms and that not everyone who had to stay in an asylum was actually crazy. I saw interesting recording equipment used to speak to several different spirits at once. I thought that the investigators were very respectful of the spirits.
I paid close attention and internalized all of this for one section of my book. To some, this type of research might seem tedious but it is in fact absolutely necessary for writing a novel worth reading. There is still more research I would like to do for this scene but I have gotten what I needed for today.
Of course, my favorite research is in person but that was not available at this time.
Something else I can suggest is to use the history from your hometown or where you are currently living as inspiration. This could be a park with Native American history (Mohegan Park, Norwich, CT) or a somewhat famous park that used to be a cemetery (Cheesman Park, Denver, Colorado.) This is an example of how some of the greatest antidotes to Writer’s Block is right under our noses.
Something that I like to do when I’m feeling very frustrated with how my writing is going, I take a walk or do something else and then come back to the story later that day.