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I Have Writer's Block!

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 23, 2011, 8:40 PM
Don't panic. Don't bang your head against the wall. (All you get is a headache... trust me on that.) Writer's block requires a thoughtful, logical approach, so hating yourself will go nowhere.

The first thing we tend to do when we have writer's block is to leave the book. We close the file or notebook and say we'll get to it later. Well, sometimes that works, but sometimes we still haven't touched it a week later. Or a month later. At that point things get a little worrisome. That's why I've compiled this list.


1. Try taking a walk or bike ride. Sometimes you just need the time to yourself. I know you've probably heard this before, but that's because it works. Let your mind drift to your characters, and an idea may arrive.

2. Think about your book before you go to sleep. Sometimes you dream about it, which can provide ideas. Sometimes you figure out the answer to your writer's block before you fall asleep. (If you're like me, you'll grab the nearest Post-it, scribble down your ideas, and then stay awake until late at night contemplating them.)

3. Ask a friend or family member for an idea. My dad is very helpful sometimes. Once my mom gave me an idea for an entire book. If you have someone who knows your story well, they can offer a lot of ideas and insight, as long as you catch them when they have time to talk. (Try asking during a long car ride, while the person is cooking supper, etc.)

4. Keep an idea notebook. Fill it with random ideas (new antagonist, different setting). You can also write down your dreams in it, and scribble down prompts when you think of them.

5. Go people-listening. Inconspicuously eavesdrop on conversations at the mall or grocery store. What bothers them? What everyday trials do they endure? Sometimes the best ideas come from random places.

6. Write. Write something. Write a paragraph about nothing, or use one of the prompts I have below. Sometimes paragraphs about nothing can be very entertaining, because they bring out your unique voice.

7. Do you know much about history? History is full of fun tidbits. Read a history book and watch the dramas of the past unfold. Events based on historical events tend to be very realistic. Just don't have the Germans come conquering London and killing all the people of a certain race, or people will roll their eyes at you. (Also the Germans may be offended.)

8. Do you keep a journal or a blog? Your deviantART journal will work! It's full of ideas on everyday life.

9. Write down what you want to write (for example, I need George to go there, and meet up with them. Meanwhile, Emily should be off helping out with preparations...). This technique can be really useful, and it helps you think logically about your objectives.

10. Ask someone nearby a hypothetical question relating to your book. (What would you do if______?) Try to avoid letting the person suspect anything, and try to suppress the urge to run off cackling if you come up with a particularly evil idea.

11. Read some of your favorite books and watch some movies. What do you like about them? What do you dislike about them? How could this information apply to your story?

12. What is your theme? Try adding a short scene to emphasize it. If you don't know what your theme is, make a list of moral ideas that show up in your book and try to come up with something. Then bring out the idea through your book, and consider new events that it might generate.

13. Edit what you've previously written. You're being productive, and you're thinking about your book. Seriously. It's a really good idea.

14. Do you know about Myers-Briggs? Google "Myers-Briggs free" to take a test. It's a personality test, and while having your main characters take it isn't necessarily productive, at least it involves your book.

15. Besides considering your theme, try to think if there are any specific points that you want readers to notice (for example, your antagonist is trying earnestly to fix things but it just isn't working). Make a list. Now consider how you could modify (or add...?) scenes to bring up these points. Be careful when adding scenes: don't interrupt the flow of action.

16. As you did in 15, make a list, but this time let it be of minor characters. How well do you understand them? What are their motivations? Do your readers know them well enough, or do they need a few more lines or some more attention?

17. Revisit your previous ideas. Were there any plot twists you were considering? Did you write down any ideas that might be useful to achieve your current goals? Could any events/thoughts/feelings from your personal experience give you a similar effect? (inspired by sumgie1)

18. Fill out a meme or something relating to your characters. Minimally, it'll keep them on your mind.

19. Listen to music that reminds you of your book. (suggested by That1PersonYouForgot)

20. Make a list of everything you could be doing to rid yourself of writer's block.
Hm.
...This one doesn't seem to be working...


Prompts
So that you can be writing something


1. A genius has invented a robot with artificial intelligence. That means it is capable of making its own decisions! Try writing in the POV of your lovable new robot. It and its inventor could make quite the dynamic duo. If you'd like to research, try artificial intelligence and Asimov's 3 laws of robotics.

2. Where are you right now? Describe the area in vivid detail. Use your most colorful adjectives.

3. It's just a normal day... in the life of a dragon. Where does this dragon live? Does he/she have a family? Perhaps your dragon goes to princess-napping school.

4. Once upon a time, there was a ninja who started a ninja school. Unfortunately, this ninja was evil. He would kidnap children to train as ninjas. One day, a young ninja is sent out to kill someone who is trying to destroy this organization. Then she finds out that this person is her twin sister...

5. Who likes stereotypes? I don't! Let's throw some out the window! Write about a family with eccentric characters (a gothic girl, a skateboarding underachiever, a computer genius) who defy their normal stereotypes and pleasantly surprise the reader.

6. An alien goes to school, disguised as a human. The alien may be completely clueless and make tons of mistakes. For a twist, try putting off the realization that the character is an alien until the end.

7. Try writing a parody of the usual prince-rescues-princess idea that Disney seemed to love in the 20th century. I've tried it; it was very entertaining.

8. Write a story centered around two friends and a lucky penny.

9. Imagine the future and try writing about it. Perhaps your older self is a character. Don't forget the part about being rich and famous after you solved your writer's block!


Add a Comment:
 
:iconscarletandlunarcool:
ScarletandLunaRcool Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Write a story centered around two friends and a lucky penny."

Is this based off How I Met your Mother?
Reply
:iconorgetzu:
Orgetzu Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
First part. Kinda unrelated. I like to use Yarny to write my stories. It allows for easy organizing and notes and stuff. So it's pretty nice. =)
How I destroy my writer's block. 1. Go read somebody else's story. Often, this will inspire me to create something similar, or to try and do something better. Or sometimes I just get inspired wanting to write a story that can make other people as happy and inspired as that story made me. =)
2. Re-read parts of my story to try and wrap my head around how the story is and where it's going and stuff, revise parts of my story (I need to do it at some point. Might as well get to it), or re-read my notes on what I want to happen in my story. Especially thinking through potential plot points really helps me to write and stuff. Often, I'll think of a really good idea that I know just how to write, and then I just can't stop. :D (Big Grin)
3. This one is often less helpful, but I'll put it here, anyways. Asking a friend about my story. Sometimes they do have good ideas, or cause me to have good ones.
4. Throw random ideas around! This one is really fun and helps me the most. Just grab every random plot idea I can think of and throw it around! Princess getting kidnapped? Throw it in! Thief? Don't what I'll do with that, but throw it in! Pokemon? Fits just as well, so might as well add it to the list! Often, throwing random ideas out there like that will eventually lead me to get better and better ideas until I'm practically bursting with them and have to go write or explode!
Also, I kinda got lost reading all your guides. Oops. But they are good. Thanks for taking the time to write them. =)
Reply
:iconstarlaandgilbird:
StarlaAndGilbird Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I use Yarny too!~ What I do to banish dreadful writers block is:

1)Listen to music. I usually listen to music that relates to the topic I write about [For example, the book I'm currently writing is based off Puella Magi Madoka Magica, so I listen to OSTs and stuff related to it.] And soothing sings that get my mind gears turning.

2) Daydream. The best ideas come from my very colorful mind.... If you you were to see in my head while I was dreaming, you'd see the most beautiful things...
Reply
:iconorgetzu:
Orgetzu Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yarny is great. =)

Music doesn't usually work particularly well for me, although once in awhile I will get good ideas from that. Or sometimes things I associate with the song.

I get loads of ideas from daydreams, too. 8D
In fact, I've gotten a lot of ideas recently for characters/stories from random ideas that pop into my head, and sometimes stuff from my dreams, when I remember them well enough.
Reply
:iconkushami-aru:
Kushami-Aru Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013
If you have Writer's Block when planning your story, try to do it a bit differently: for example, I prefer traditional pen and paper over digital writing when it comes to planning stuff. Pages are full of random gibberish and small text added later. :)
Reply
:iconthat1personyouforgot:
That1PersonYouForgot Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I've found that listening to music that reminds you of what you are writing helps. A lot. It has kept me going for a while :)
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013   General Artist
Thanks for mentioning that! :aww: I've added it to the list.
Reply
:iconthat1personyouforgot:
That1PersonYouForgot Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconstarsailor5:
starsailor5 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Student Filmographer
your guides are very helpful! i've been contemplating for a very long time on writing a story and my heads just about to burst with ideas XD I just hae issues putting them on paper,
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013   General Artist
Thank you. :huggle: Good luck with your story!
Reply
:iconstarsailor5:
starsailor5 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Student Filmographer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013   General Artist
:heart:
Reply
:icondarksoulangel2001:
DarkSoulAngel2001 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I. LOVE. IT. *leaps into an active volcano* Why does prompt 6 remind me of Invader Zim? I DUNNO.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013   General Artist
Thank you, but don't die! :noes:

...Perhaps because the green alien is very spontaneous and random? (At least, that's what I think, although I've never seen the show assuming it's a show)
Reply
:icondarksoulangel2001:
DarkSoulAngel2001 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
And he fails to take over the world ouo I remember when he got lost and didn't know about the fare to ride a bus XD
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013   General Artist
Oh, wow! :o He sounds like a silly character.
Reply
:icondarksoulangel2001:
DarkSoulAngel2001 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
And it's all thanks to Gir :meow: That's why I love the show so much ouo
Reply
:iconaelorn:
Aelorn Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Reading your stuff inspires me to maybe write again... (I know that's where I initially got my watchers, was from my writing, and I'd like to surprise a few who stuck it out despite my sudden shift to knitting and earrings.)
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013   General Artist
That's great! :huggle:

(I'm sure they enjoy your knitting and earrings too, though; why else would they be still watching you?)
Reply
:iconaelorn:
Aelorn Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Ha ha. Maybe. Now to hold onto the inspiration...
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013   General Artist
You can do it! :w00t!:
Reply
:iconaelorn:
Aelorn Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I hope
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013   General Artist
The more quickly you write it, the easier it usually is. :)
Reply
:iconaelorn:
Aelorn Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The biggest issue is that I have the motivation... Sort of. But no ideas.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013   General Artist
That stinks. :(
Reply
:iconrenosgirl77:
RenosGirl77 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Awesome, thank you so much for this!! XD Will definitely be trying out some of these today!!
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013   General Artist
You're welcome! :hug: Good luck!
Reply
:iconrenosgirl77:
RenosGirl77 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!! :)
Reply
:iconshaylalaloohoo:
ShayLaLaLooHoo Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is made for me!!
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013   General Artist
Awesome! :aww:
Reply
:iconsumgie1:
sumgie1 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012
Nice tutorial, was interesting to read.

I guess what I usually like to do when I'm fishing for ideas is think about what is topical for me at the moment, what is going on in my life, how it makes me feel, think about what other ideas I have had in the past that didn't come into fruition and think about whether they are relevant, interesting to me now.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013   General Artist
Thank you! :aww:

Thank you a lot for mentioning that; it's a really good idea. I've put it into the resource and mentioned you.
Reply
:iconsumgie1:
sumgie1 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
You're welcome. And, wow, I feel honoured. :)
Reply
:iconmy5tic-lali:
My5tic-Lali Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a great help! I've tried a couple of the suggestions already and they're already getting words going! thanks so much for making this!
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012   General Artist
You're welcome! I'm really glad to hear that. :w00t!:
Reply
:icongalaxygoddess:
GalaxyGoddess Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is one of those where, I'm tempted to print it and post it near my writing stations (bed, bathtub,couch, etc) so when I get stuck, stare at it til the thought comes.

But it's just easier to save paper and mark it instead :D
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012   General Artist
Thanks! :hug:

Sorry for the late reply.
Reply
:iconzatanya:
ZaTanya Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I always seem to get inspired in the bathtub. I should probably bathe more often, then.
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012   General Artist
It never hurts. :D
Reply
:iconmatisawesome:
MatisAwesome Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2011
You know I actually wrote about nothing once, it was fun, and the teacher actually liked it.
This is really useful, considering how often i get art blocks ;P
Reply
:icondevidoggy87:
devidoggy87 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My teacher laughed so hard at my paper about nothing
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2011   General Artist
Really? That's cool. Is it on dA? I'd love to see it.^^

Oh, it helps for art block too? Maybe I should be using it for art block too then... I seem to get that occasionally...
Reply
:iconmatisawesome:
MatisAwesome Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2011
No it's not on dA, but that's actually a good idea.

And My art block comes every few weeks, so I have experience there
Reply
:iconshineeserendipity:
ShineeSerenDipity Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Student Writer
Wow! Straight to my fav's and help! This is amazing, and really helpful! I do half of this, half of the time. The rest of it I never even considered, till know ;) Thank you so much for making this! :D
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011   General Artist
Thanks; I'm glad it can be helpful!

I came up with all these over the course of a few years.
Reply
:iconshineeserendipity:
ShineeSerenDipity Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Student Writer
Well you did a great job! I like you're tutorials, they're helpful and fun to read :D
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011   General Artist
Thanks! :blush:
Reply
:iconbig-green11:
big-green11 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Oh yeah, I have writers block all the time. Using this will help me. Actually, if you want to add this to the list, I use character memes to help me get out of it(or I just talk to myself... :paranoid:).
Reply
:iconmisslunarose:
MissLunaRose Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011   General Artist
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll add it right away! :huggle:
Reply
:iconcitizencandy:
citizencandy Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2011  Student Writer
oh, this is awesome. I had writer's block not so long ago and talking it out the story's steps to my sister really helped ^^. Also, listening to songs that fit the mood of your story helps too as you're imagining your story happening like scenes from a movie to the song.

(a personal inspiration of mine to get the mood right is to read mangas by my favourite mangaka. Puts me right on track every time since I'm discerning what I liked about them.)
Reply
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