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Misdirection or 2+2=5

by Silver James 8 March 2011 4 Comments

If I’ve jumped in on someone’s day, my bad! I’ve gotten old since last month and my brain decided to take a vacation. Jeannie, jump in here and remind me if I’m the first Tuesday (oops my really bad as this isn’t!) or the second Tuesday, in which case, I’m a little late but good to go. So anyway, along with being another year older, almost moved into new office space and being completely discombobulated, now I’m going to talk about arithmetic? Ha! Nope. I’m not talking about math today. I’m talking about a formula to get over the dreaded Writer’s Block(tm). What’s that you say? Writer’s block? We never get writer’s block! Iffy wouldn’t dare.

Ha! Says you. Guess again, Silver.

Well, okay. Sometimes we get writer’s block.

*raises eyebrow and scissors* What’s with this we stuff?

Oh, whatever. You’re always running off with the cover models. Talk to the keyboard, Muse! So anyway…When things seem to be slowing down and the scene, plot, and/or characters are boring you to tears, or the empty page is staring at you with a baleful eye, these are some of the things I use to get over the hump. I hope they’ll help.

1. Change the direction of story. The plot might not be going in an interesting direction or it’s starting to drag. Take a left turn instead of a right. My CP says it’s time for a road trip–sometimes metaphorically speaking, sometimes actually getting in the car and driving off somewhere. I do my best thinking while driving sometimes. And sometimes, my characters just need a wild goose chase of their own.

2. Write a new “beginning” at the very place you’re stuck—as if the story started there. Be sure to beef up that opening sentence!

3. Add a new conflict. Have a character do something completely out of character or off the wall. You can go back later and foreshadow it, or set it up, if this adds spice to your story.

4. When you have a moment to relax, use mental imagery to take the story to “what if” places.

5. Re-read an old favorite novel from the same genre you’re writing. Look for the things you really like in that favorite and figure out how you can use those things in your WIP.

6. Consider it part of the job. Keep writing even if the scenes are dull and mechanical. Move your characters closer to the end point that you have planned. You never know when they might take a detour–taking you and the reader by surprise.

7. There’s more than one way to lead that horse to water. Use a cliché and see if you can make it read fresh or give it a different twist.

8. Write the end scene.

9. Change the POV. Tell the story through the eyes of a secondary character.

10. Write the marketing blurb (aka back-of-the-book blurb). You know I have to be desperate if I get to this point! 😉 I’ll clean house before I get this far into writer’s block!

Any other ideas? Is it Friday yet? No? Well, I think it’s time to jump in the car and ROAD TRIP!


  • Lavada Dee said:

    Ah, Silver, loved the “Write a Marketing Blurb”, your take on it. And, I’m with you I’d have to be over the moon desperate and again like you I’d rather clean house. Love your blog, no matter the day or schedule.

  • Laurie Ryan said:

    First off, congratulations on having another birthday! :) I’ve used some of these ideas to get past my own (non-existent?) writer’s block. Recently, I wasn’t happy with the direction my story was going but couldn’t think of a better way. So I backed up a bit and went back to researching. It totally rejuvenated my passion in the story. So that’s one more way to “kick the block”. :)

  • Stacey Joy Netzel said:

    I’ve been at the stage where I’m desperate enough to clean. That usually gets the words flowing pretty quick. I’ll have to remember some of these other options, they’re more appealing than cleaning. And I totally had to lol at “Oh, whatever. You’re always running off with the cover models.”

  • Silver James (author) said:

    Sorry I was MIA today. I’d like to say I was writing madly. I wasn’t I was trying to write madly, but….twitter. And other blogs…and…and…I finally cleaned house. And did laundry. I even folded it. Does that tell y’all how desperate I am?

    Lavada, what is it about those blurbs? I so totally suck at them. And pitch lines, too! Not my forte. At. All! LOL

    Laurie, when you get to be older than dirt, you’d rather forget birthdays than doing blog posts. 😉 Going back to the drawing board with new or deeper research is a good idea. It can give you new strings to tug. *writes that down*

    Stacy, the whole reason I host Saturday Brunch on my site is for Iffy. I have Jimmy Thomas pics because she saw them on his site and refused to work at all until I bought them for her. It was my birthday, but her present! *rolls eyes*

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