Posts Tagged With: Writers Block

Never Suffer Writer’s Block Again

Never Suffer Writer’s Block AgainHave you ever sat down to write, and found that everything you wrote seemed terrible?

Every writer has felt that way, at one time or another.

Here’s the uncomfortable truth about those critical thoughts: they can actually help you become a better writer.

But only if you know how to recognize those thoughts for what they are, and then train yourself to have them at the right time.

There are two sides to your creative process.

The creative side of your writing process helps you get the rough draft down on paper.

The critical side, on the other hand, helps you revise and polish the final draft.

In order to be write, you actually need both of these very different thought patterns in your head. You just can’t have them at exactly the same time. Continue reading

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How to Never Get Writer’s Block. Ever.

writers block

Writer’s block(s). Get it? … Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

Let me tell you the secret to getting rid of writer’s block forever.

I’ll admit, I’ve certainly had days where I feel like I don’t know what to write, or I worry that everything I write is terrible.

Some people call that writer’s block. I call it “Monday.” :-)

But seriously, what most people call “writer’s block” is an insidious combination of those two problems.

Problem #1: Not knowing what to write. Continue reading

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Is Your Story Stuck? 5 Questions You Need to Ask

Fiction University Janice HardyWriting a book but feeling stuck?

Do you have the sneaking suspicion that your story went off the rails somewhere?

Don’t worry. You can fix practically any story problem just by asking yourself five simple questions.

Read the full post on Fiction University >

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The Surprising Secret to Snappy Scenes

Got a scene in your novel where a group of characters argue and discuss, but no matter how important the subject is, somehow the tension falls flat?

You can fix this scene, and I’ll tell you the trick right up front: get rid of some of your characters. Why?  Continue reading

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Saturday: Instant Plot – Plan Out Your Novel the Easy Way

Hate outlining? You’re not alone. Tomorrow (9/8/12), I’ll be teaching Instant Plot at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference. Here’s what’s in store:  Continue reading

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing a book | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Keep Readers Turning Pages: 3 Things You Must Do

Q: I’ve got a basic plot planned out for my novel, but I’m worried about being repetitive, because the story is about doing the same thing several times (the main character has a list of people he needs to “off”). Do you know of any way to pull off a plot like that without boring the reader or becoming predictable?  Continue reading

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The Best Writing Tool You’re Not Using

Writing a novel on a typewriter? Hard.
Finishing your novel by any means possible? Smart!

Are you stuck in the middle of your novel? Do you keep going back to “fix” things in your story? Believe it or not, you might need a typewriter.  Continue reading

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bronte Sisters Power Dolls

Writing a book is serious work. Literary icons with kung-fu action grip… not so serious. Enjoy!

P.S. You can also watch the Bronte Sisters Power Dolls here.

Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Instant Plot: How to Plan Out Your Novel the Easy Way

Do you love free stuff? Do you love to write? Me too! That’s why I’m teaching an absolutely free writing class this Saturday. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one.  Continue reading

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Beat Writer’s Block in 6 Simple Steps

Q:  I’m about five chapters into writing my first novel and I’ve reached a total impasse.  I flat-out don’t know where to go from here.  Everything started out so well, I had lots of story ideas and the pages were coming fast.  But now I’m stuck, and I don’t know what to do.  Should I scrap my novel and start over?  How do I beat writer’s block?

A:  Don’t worry.  Here’s a solution that’s guaranteed to shake loose your creativity.  And you can do it in just six easy steps.  Ready?

First, take a deep breath.  Set aside what you’re working on and think about the basics of your story for a moment.  Go back in your mind to the original inspiration you had for your novel.  Forget about the chapter you just wrote; focus instead on the bigger concepts.  Remember the very first thing that inspired you.

Got it?  Good.  Now, in your notebook, answer these six questions:

1)  WHO is my story really about? 
Sometimes we get ourselves turned around and focus on the wrong person.  Hint: the main character is the person with the most to lose, the person who spends the most time on stage, or the person who gets hurt the worst.

2)  What does that character WANT?  
It needs to be something specific that we can visualize her achieving.  Something we could see in a photo.  Is she trying to fix a problem?  Achieve something that’s never been done before?  Write down exactly what it is.

3)  WHY does the character want it?  
The more primal and universal the reason, the better.  Especially if the character thinks that achieving this goal will make her a better person or mend a broken relationship.

4)  What will the character DO to achieve it?  
What direct action might she take in the future?  Brainstorm at least ten actions.  Later, you can pick out your favorites.

5)  What stands in the WAY of the character achieving that goal?  
How would these obstacles force the character to change plans midstream?  Brainstorm at least ten obstacles: opposing characters, inner conflicts or physical roadblocks in the setting.

6)  How should things get RESOLVED in the end?  
Does the character achieve the goal?  Or fail?  Or realize that she was chasing the wrong goal all along?

Answering these questions will give you a bare-bones plan for writing your novel.  If that doesn’t get you totally unblocked, spend time brainstorming more obstacles for the hero to overcome.  Giving your character a problem to solve will get your story rolling again instantly.

So, in a nutshell, your novel is about a CHARACTER who has a GOAL or PROBLEM for a vital REASON.  He or she DOES SOMETHING about it, but RUNS INTO TROUBLE.  Finally, THINGS GET RESOLVED

That’s it.  Everything else is just fancying up that one basic paragraph.  See, isn’t that simple?  Here’s a quick cheat sheet for you:

My main character is __________.  He/She needs to __________, because __________.  So the character does __________.  But __________ stands in the way.  At the end, __________.

Just fill in the blanks and get back to writing your novel. It’s that simple!

Got a writing question? Just ask!

Categories: how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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