Oh, the joy of writing
As I assume many of my readers are writers, I know they will understand when I say that there are times when the words just get stuck.
Some call it writer’s block, but really it’s just a moment in a story when the ideas dry up or you feel that the story is drifting.
While there is a vast depository of information and ideas on this topic, I didn’t think it should dissuade me from offering my own little helpful tips to keep the joy of writing alive.
When these wordless moments hit me, I resort to some of the following tactics to help me get going again. They usually work.
Make a sudden noise
A loud explosion, a door slamming or something smashing against a wall just near the protagonist’s head. This one always gets me underway again and at the same time adds a nice element of surprise in the story.
What would my character just hate to happen right now?
An email from an angry ex-spouse or a demand for payment from the bailiff. The onset of a nasty head cold just before the wedding day. A secret affair is not a secret anymore. What about choking on a fish bone in the middle of a romantic dinner for two?
Open a door or drawer
This is an oldie but a goodie. You just never know what you’ll find hiding in there.
Leave it hanging
This usually means extensive use of the delete key. Go back a few paragraphs and just stop the chapter as something is about to happen. ‘She opened the drawer and couldn’t believe her eyes.’ Stop it there and start a new chapter about her next door neighbour’s gay son.
Trip over something
Another oldie, but it never fails. Just get your character moving and ‘kerplonk’! Break a leg, arm or even better open a gaping wound and let the blood flow freely.
Start an argument
This is a brilliant way to get the dialogue going and moving the story along at a pace. Lots of screaming and yelling, expletives and throwing of coffee mugs.
So what are your favourite writing prompts to get you moving again?