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Guest DarkVampWriter

Writer's Block

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Sometimes, you just need to live life and gather experience. It is from life that we gather inspiration. The lows and the highs. People can tell if our voice is talking from experience or lying. If you know its lies, that will come across in your voice.

In a made up world, a great deal is reality disguised as yearning. It is the treatment of your characters that also tell a story. That is why so many people abhor Marysues and the like. They are fakey and written by someone without real experience, and after a while, even the writer is not satisfied with the same fare over and over again.

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Guest Yhitzak

Damn, Storyjunkie, you're *so* right on! The bit about life being your best inspiration is really quite invaluable. My own creativity has been blocked for about the last six months, and I've found the the best way to overcome that is to go out and live life. Also, your suggestion of giving yourself an 'assignment' is right on the money.

Something else that helps me be a better writer is to *read* good writing. Do not read fan-fiction or other unpublished fiction! Read something classic, read something that's been in print for more than a hundred years, read fiction and non-fiction alike. I've found that my writing tends to reflect what I read, and when I read nothing but amateur fiction, my writing tends to be more amateur. (Please note my qualification of 'nothing but;' I still read a lot of unpublished fiction and am in no way implying that what goes on, on the fiction site is somehow irrelevant or meaningless.)

When I get blocks for writing erotica/sex, I refer to A Night In a Moorish Harem, which was published at the beginning of the 20th century and is one of the most erotic pieces of literature I've ever read. I'm sure that if you look around a little, you'll find a piece of literature that can inspire you.

When I get character blocks, I tend to refer more to television and movies for my inspiration because character development in a motion picture is by far trickier than it is in written form. Check out plays and scripts and follow them, pay attention to how the characters develop in terms of imagination and text.

When I get just basic writer's block, I refer to my English textbooks. Sometimes we all need a refresher in the basic technical aspects of writing before we can move beyond that. Also, I love my dictionary. Sometimes writer's block can be overcome with something as simple as an inspirational word.

I can't remember who said it, but this is one of my favorite quotations of all time: "Writing is easy. You just sit and stare at a blank sheet of paper until droplets of blood form on your forehead."

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Sometimes, you just need to live life and gather experience. It is from life that we gather inspiration. The lows and the highs. People can tell if our voice is talking from experience or lying. If you know its lies, that will come across in your voice.

In a made up world, a great deal is reality disguised as yearning. It is the treatment of your characters that also tell a story. That is why so many people abhor Marysues and the like. They are fakey and written by someone without real experience, and after a while, even the writer is not satisfied with the same fare over and over again.

I must agree with you. If I know something is going to smell like shit, we'll all know its a lie. I try to atain anything from my stories from real life or find someone or ask someone. I'm a method actor, part of my style is I'll mentally and/or physically (Depending on situation) act it out or role play it in my mind so I get in the right mind zone, I try not to like my online gimmick or real lifeself get in the way. I'm just blocked mentally, its like I need a claymore or C4 to get past it, but I just cannot. I'm trying to get on with my smut fiction and finish it, put a bullet in its head and let it go. I'm stuck. In my Alt. DBZ I'm stuck I know what I want to do but I cannot muster the strength. If I've RPed like my story DEMONS, I can easily continue/bring it closer to the end, however it's an EPIC story, in otherwords it'll end up being 50+ chapters and WELL over 150,000 words, the only version of War and Peace. Method acting is the only way to go. I act out my characters down right to the dot. That's partically how I can write some things good, but I know I can do better, if I can find out how much SAT's are outside of a high school class, I need to take them and enroll. HOPEFULLY I still have my GI Bill, I paid into it for 10 months.

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Recently i have read a lot of para-normal romance novel, Kerri Arthur and Carrie Vaughn and i have also found alot of original fiction that is very well written. I finally found the inspiration to write something i hope to have done completly right now though i'm finding it hard to piece together the plot bunnies i have for my story with the stuff that supposed to go in between and link them.

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You are in the middle of a hot story that you are typing away and then BAM!, the muse that was talking so much now is silent as a graveyard on a silent night.

I have several muses that I have who have actaully gone silent on me for months to a year or more.

So how do you get your muse back to writing out the story with you?

Beth

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I am a huge music person... beautiful lyrics with beautiful music behind it is a huge inspiration to my writing, so when I'm a bit stumped or just lost the vibe, I try to listen to more music -- especially that or artists who are particularly good songwriters.

I also go to some challenge groups on livejournal (or similar sites) and just force myself to write. Something short, something complete off-topic and something that I don't have to imagine up myself. There's one place in particular that your fic can only be 500 words max, and the first line is always provided for you (you have to base the entire story off of an already provided sentence).

I find that it helps because it's not that I don't WANT to write, it's that I can't... so being away from writing itself just makes it that much worse. So this way, I'm still writing but it's kind of "mindless", if you will. If that makes any sense at all! blink.gif

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I've got a couple of tricks. cool.gif

Number one: If it's a multi chaptered piece, I reread the beginning, trying to come at it as if I'm just a reader instead of the author. If it's posted online, I read it online instead of from my own files. Or read some other piece that has some of the same themes, my own, or someone else's. Usually that jump starts me.

Number two: Make myself grind out just a couple more hundred words from wherever I left off. Yeah, I know it's crap. I'll probably come back and delete it afterwards. But just write it, damn it! At least I know where I don't want to go.

Number three: As a routine, I usually have at least two stories in progress at any one time. The stories are usually very different. One may be very dark and violent, the other is funny or a simple romance/adventure, or just a lemon fest. The point is that it's different. If I get stuck on one, I switch to the other and vice versa. More than three is usually too much for me though. Something will get lost in the shuffle.

Number four: Take a break. Pick up a hobby I've put on hold for my writing or catch up on those books and movies I put off.

Number five: Put myself on the spot. I usually start to fade out at about the 3/4 mark on a chaptered story. If I haven't started posting the story yet, I do it now. Reader responses often inspire me. And once I've posted it, I feel obligated to finish it in a reasonable length of time.

None of these work every time, but usually one of them will work. Muses can be fickle...Don't let them hold your work hostage.

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My Muse for Legend of Zhen Ji had stopped for a few months. Main problem: the muse's fickle for realism and consistency... and I might have taken a turn that's making the story cannot progress realistically.

I'm at loss on how to carry Lady Zhen through the next scene, into another scene I've mostly completed.

I can't build the bridge.

I need to discuss it. But so far the people I'm trying to contact (just the few reviewers) aren't that talkative.

The story's been stuck for some time.

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For the most part, I listen to music or watch TV even while I am writing just to give me something to watch or listen to when my muse is starting to slip away something usually will draw it back to writing or that I put that story aside and wait for the muse to return which usually lasts only a day or two.

But my LoTR trilogy is lasting for a long time. Occassionally, I will get a bite from the muse while I am with the horses but when I return to the house, it's gone again. sad.gif

But I did write a HP story that lasted for over four years before I finished it this past year. The name Harry Potter and The Bungling Teacher.

I'm sure that one day, my LoTR muses will return and let me finish the six stories that I have half finished.

Beth

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*ARG!* I'm having this problem right now! Fourteen thousand words into a story that I really want to write and I've come to a grinding halt angry.gif

I usually just push through it. I write other scenes that come to mind and try to write the connective tissue later. In the past I've taken the "step away from the computer slowly" approach when I'm stuck. Recently, I've been writing in third person so, when I get stuck, I start writing scenes in first person to get the feel of one character. I have about five files for one story right now -one written chronologically, one with all the stuff that I come up with at random times that will occur later on, and two for each main character written in first person (sort of character studies).

I too sometimes just sit down and write -it may be crap, but hey, at least I'm writing. My roommate is also my sounding board -she's the lucky one that gets to sit around and hear me rant about how I hate such-and-such character because he/she won't just act right and do what I want him/her to do. She's usually really good about bouncing around ideas.

The thing with posting the story to get reviewer input can be tricky (depending on where you post and how loyal your reader base is). For the most part I've found that "I want more" isn't particularly helpful to goading me on (unless they've caught me on a particularly creative day), and the reviews that actually help me are few and far between.

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I am currently suffering from what scientists call "Partial Writer's Block". This disease is very common, and many people suffer from it. The only known cure is to finish at least one page of writing, saving, then going to bed.

HAhahahahaha! Nah I'm working on something right now and the only problem I'm having is progress. I know where I want this chapter to go, but can't think of how to put it there!

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I think my writers block, is self induced. For I, know what I want to do, have good ideas, then I start writing and get lazy, and quit. It's very horrible too, but when I keep writing and I don't feel like it, the piece turns to crap.

All I have to do is rid myself of laziness . . . oh how easy that will be laugh.gif

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Write! Write about ANYTHING! Write about how your dog is scratching his butt on the carpet, write about how that guy didn't call, write about how that relative just died.

Write on napkins,(Because Harry Potter was conceived on one and we all know how that series made a generation of kids put down the remote and crack open a book)write on the palm of your hand just do it. Because you can be damn sure that writer's who breathe to write will never stop doing it, so why should you let them have all the fun. :-D

"Real writers write through all kinds of interruptions and distractions. Sometimes they write because of them. Real writers write in all kinds of inauspicious circumstances, in sickness and in health-sort of like being marred. They write because they have no choice. For them, writing until they reach the moment when the story comes together turns out to be its own reward-even if no one else ever reads a word they've written."

-J.A Jance in the magazine, "The Writer"

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If its just a matter of wanting to write in general I have found that writing drabbles and little 1-2 page onehsots can help get me back into the flow

I suffer more from writers block when it comes to a particular story. Im suffering that right now. I have a story sitting on my computer. Its 13 chapters long and Im at a serrious block. So ive stepped away from it- been about a month now- and have been slowly reading the story from the start to remember what i was thinking when i wrote it and the ideas I had for it.

Writers Block is a pain and is different for every author so you really just have to work with it work around it and work through it until you get your muse back!

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Guest sylvir

I think of all the advice on here the best is 'doing something, anything else' even if that is working on a different story. At least thats what works for me. I like to write so I make sure to have paper and pen on me at all times because I never know when I'll think of something. In desperation I wrote several lines of diologue on the carbon copy of a check out of my checkbook.

Do something that has nothing to do with writing. I like to hang out with a friend and play with her newborn baby and not even thing about writing.

Reread the entire story and make lists of the events you want to happen. Write the descriptions of whats going to happen in summery format. Just forget about sentence and paragraph structure for a moment at write whats happening. Write diologue in script format to come up with interesting phrases and don't worry about any action.

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I find that when I get writers block (usually, it's a muse block) One of the best things I can do is start reading, either a good book or fanfic. At times, I literally have to get away from the written word, so I'll play a game online, or go for a ride on my motorcycle. Usually, that works, and I find myself ready to write at least a page or two.

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Lovely thread. I agree with most tips written one here. If you are stuck with a certain story or just want to get those rusty fingers working again after a longer abstinence from writing, I think it can be a good kind of "training" to try and write something else for the sake of writing. If you have no idea what to write, I have a little something I once came up when thinking about writer's block. It works only for fanfiction, though:

- Write down the numbers 1 through 7.

- Write the names of seven or more characters of your fandom onto seperate slips of paper.

- Draw one character name for each number and write them into the according slot. First draw is number 1 etc. No cheating, no new drawings!

No. 1 is madly in love with no. 2.

No. 2 is in a relationship with no. 3.

No. 3 claims to have this relationship out of other intentions than love.

No. 4 is supportive of no. 1's crush.

No. 5 is in love with no. 3.

No. 6 is a horny little thing with a fetish.

No. 7 is the bad guy.

The rest of the story is up to you, of course, but all seven characters must appear in it in their designated roles.

Of course, this is only an example. You can fix this however you want, but I did some "test drawings" and already found the results to be hilarious. Of course this can result in major OOCness, but it will be whatever you make of it. :)

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