How I Overcame Writer’s Block

How I overcame Writer’s Block

dawn-190055_640So for the last two days I haven’t been able to write. I’m literally 90% done with my novel. In theory, I should be flying through the final ‘boss battle’ and head for the home straight.

In practice I was terrified of that particular scene. I had no idea where to go. No idea how to get my characters through it. Not even from whose perspective I would tell the story.

So my dilemma wasn’t the kind of writer’s block, “oh no, a white piece of paper, what could I possible put on it…” It was more like, “oh no, what if the scene is boring? Or over the top? Or no one likes it?”

Why I suggest an outline

This has happened a few times throughout my journey to write the first draft. And each time it cost me WEEKS to get back to my story. What saved me was the fact that I had taken the time to write an outline.

I know this doesn’t work for everybody but if you get times where you just need to step back from your manuscript, I highly recommend you at least give it a try. This is what worked for me because I’m a detailed planner. It would equally work for somebody who doesn’t like planning but has a general idea where you’d like to end up!

I created a very detailed outline with each individual scene planned. That doesn’t mean that throughout the writing process, I haven’t changed it up. What it does mean is that even after taking a lengthy break, I can sit down with my document and have a pretty clear idea what should come next.

As I explained in my article on Dragon Dictation, it helps me to think about the scene for five minutes before I write. Maybe even talk aloud to myself like a crazy lady, just like I would tell a friend about a movie I watched and what happened next.

If you’re a VISUAL person, you got it easy!

I have no idea if this works for everybody. But I’d guess that if you’re a creative person, you’re familiar with the idea of day-dreaming. Have you ever imagined what it would feel like to win the lottery, call your boss and hand in your notice? Or how your spouse would react when you kiss them and say, “By the way, honey, I’ve solved our mortgage problems and ordered that Ferrari you’ve always wanted. No, I’m not crazy, I’ve won $10,000,000 in the lottery! No, I’m serious!”

Doesn’t that feel awesome? Can’t you imagine how the scene would be full of emotion, happiness, maybe a little fear about how your life would change? That’s the technique I use for writing a scene in my book.

I sit down, put on some headphones with binaural sounds, such as Inspire from iDoser – it costs $3 to download but I was happy to pay that. I find it works really well for me and I can use it as a timed sprint of 30 minutes exactly.

Then I visualize my scene. This has the double effect that it allows me to solidify my characters in my mind. I always cast my hero and heroine and that makes it a lot easier to do the next step.

I literally describe the scene that’s playing in my mind like a movie. I watch the two characters move, gesture, smile, snark, fight, get hurt, care for each other. Then I put fingers to keys and type like the devil, writing what’s already there in my head.

I usually end up with 600-900 words during a 30 minutes session. Word count isn’t as important as breaking through the barrier between my imagination and the page. This visualization technique allows me to do that and produce energetic, colorful scenes.

Hope this helps you guys! Let me know if you tried this and whether you found it as great as I do 🙂