How to fight Writer Block and Improve your stories
by Encyclopedia     More by this Writer

Writer’s block is probably the most common complaint of any writer so if you have it, don’t get worried over the moment you’re in the block. It shall pass, and soon, if you relax first and foremost. The more you pressure yourself the worse the block will get.


Take a few minutes and get a cup of hot tea or take a bubble bath , read a book, take a walk, or watch a movie that really exhilarates you and has proven a mental stimulant before. If you recharge your optimism, then you can write, since ideas pop into your head faster.. If you are relaxed and optimistic you’ll be writing in no time.

2) Free write for a few minutes on a blank piece of paper. I grab a dictionary or any old book, pop it open and wherever the page opens to I pop a finger onto a word at random.. I write the word down then see how many words I can associate with the one that randomly got picked to get the mind to working in finding ways to make the connections.

**This exercise also helps with plotting when you don’t have blocks BTW.. Example: Write out the word escape; if you have a hero trapped somewhere, then different avenues come to mind for how escape can be achieved rather quickly…

You can do this by making lists of things, like objects, colours or whatever which might be put in the ficcy you are on at the moment, or for a later use. It isn’t where it goes Right Now that matters, Half the battle is fought by simply taking down the first three objects/ colours/ people names or whatever.. By starting to write, you open the door no matter how stuck it is. I do lists on objects in a room or mentioned in a book or whatever else I can think of to get the mind working. I later on expand by describing the objects if simply listing them doesn’t break the block open wide in a matter of minutes.

Example. The word Vase; How many types of vases are there? Boxy ones, square ones, thin, tall, long, hourglass shaped and Triangular, they come in ceramic, clay, glass, metal and many other forms of substance too. See how fast you can write out different types of vases that come to mind.. :) You can even start listing types of flowers and their colours if you like to start the process of listed free writing.

3) The Pep Talk: Ok this is another huge part of writer’s block I have found from way too much experience with the problem.. Finding the fear within that blocks the creative juices.. Read what you have aloud first and foremost.. Does it flow or is it stilted sounding? If it doesn’t sound right, then fix it so it does… Usually by doing a re-vamp.. Aka short form edit, You’ll get the mind working and cooperating because you will be able to say ok I can do this.

You can also explore the underside of what you are writing this way… Does something in the ficcie you are working on ring true and it is a truth you aren’t quite comfy with as an example. :) I do this one a lot.. You should always write about what you know, as per relationships between people etc..

If you know very little about the topic, the exact same thing can happen. Research can only go so far. If you’re writing about a submarine crew, but know absolutely nothing about submarines.. You may well find yourself blocked as well.

4) Turn the situation around in what you are writing. This is a different form of looking at the underside of what you are writing. It is a change in view points, and it is getting inside of your character’s head, literally.. You start by asking things like Ok if I was so and so what would I do in this situation. :) It’s a fun kind of role play game in short.. Or you make the villain momentarily the hero, and the hero the villain so to speak. :)

But the challenge here is that the villain has to stay in same basic character as does the main hero.. :) It makes for some funny stuff mentally… Trust me.. Could you see Android 17 being in Gohan’s shoes when Gohan lost his arm? How would he have reacted to the loss of a limb? And would he have given android 18 the senzu bean if it was the last one? Or would he have broken it in half and given half to each of them? See how this works?

Perhaps if the scene was set somewhere else, like a forest instead of an amusement park…. how would the forest setting impact the scene of the battle where Gohan lost his arm? What difference would Trunks battle with 18 have had in a forest instead of a fun park? I think these questions are giving you an idea of what this turn it upside down really means. It’s putting the fic under construction through major changes in your mind not in the paper format, and trying to determine what is or isn’t working for the current picture you are drawing of the fic you are blocked on. It means slowing down a bit, relaxing and trying to make a moment of whimsy of the piece in most regards… You could even have the idea of Gohan not losing limbs at all.. That the senzu bean was never needed, and the androids get hit in the face with cotton candy if you like.. Just so long as you shift the scene and look at how place changes the meanings of the plot, compared to something else (the actual show in this case)

5) Do an interview with the actors in your plot… Ask questions of them, write it out like it was a newspaper clipping or something of that nature to get the ideas moving in a manner that lets you really understand the characters better… Perhaps you do a family show like family Feud,… Gohan and Trunks Vs. Androids as example. :) How would they answer the Questions posed to them? who would answer faster? or read a newspaper for it’s headlines… Ok if this was Trunks or Gohan in this particular eye catching newspaper article, How would they answer the interview? Etc.. etc.. it forces the mind to concentrate on the character, and helps you get back to the plot line by giving you ideas to work with.

6) Role play AD&D your plot via Characters.. be the character in your own living room.. heheh I do this one a whole lot.. Or perhaps your a fringe character… You are not necessarily stuck being the main characters, You can be a fringe character watching the main ones interact.. You set up the situation, and you hear both sides.. Listen to what the imagination tells you. :) I have a tape record I use in this one.. I role play a lot like a D&D or AD&D adventure driving in my car.. I give short blunt descriptions of things, places, actions and people that float to my mind’s eye as I drive.. It makes the never ending 100 degree trips (40 miles one way) into town seem much more bearable and quickly run. Feel silly and have fun! Tee hee.. The sillier you feel at the start, the more likely you are to hit Gold mines when you get used to role playing in this fashion. :) You get blah, blah, blah to start with, but once gold is struck, it doesn’t run out for hours as I have been told by others I suggest this tactic to… Actions force the mind to mould itself to the concept and to work within the frame of the context being dealt with much more vividly.. That’s why the kids with the backyard war game are amused for hours.. They don’t have freak outs over role playing.. So be a BIIIIIG Kid for a few hours.. It will make you proud of yourself, and nobody has to know if you do such in your own living room with the shades drawn.

7) Write a Letter to and from your character.. This is fun. I do journals also.. As in what the character thinks and feels.. :) Letters are major communications.. So if you write saying gee how ya been Trunks? Then Trunks is obliged to answer right? what was his POV. (Point of View) when Gohan lost his arm rescuing his smarty ass… He did after all practically beg 18 to murder him so he could get a way out of Mirai timeline. :) Perhaps he thinks Gohan’s injury is all his fault.. Perhaps he thinks that he can deny any, and all, part in the incident and sets it up as if he’s an angel?? everyone comments on how vividly I catch characters, and guess which of my writer’s block 101 breakers that comes from?? You got it.. This exercise.. :)

LOL I have a document on my comp that is a trunks Journal.. I also have a Gohan’s views Journal.. And I am quick to add things from all the ficcies I write, No matter how off the wall the Journals get or how conflicting, each section is pertaining to a specific Fic or show I have seen. :) It really helps you stay in touch with your people. I have every character of importance in my fics whether DB/Z/GT or otherwise related to writing journaling while I work on their particular project and plotting.

8) Last thing I can think of for this day’s work.. Create a History or Profile master for the characters in the story… I mean in-depth profiles, not purple hair versus -black hair or brown eyes versus blue… Did they home school like Gohan, and Mirai Trunks and Gohan? How high is education level? It’s a form of in depth character formulizing and it also works great. :)

There is an example character profile list also here. I have it in a science fiction trilogy that is already taken , so the character and her home planet and culture are trademarked already, sorry you can’t steal her, Nor her world, language etc, but you can use her home and language etc, as places to jump start your own creativity if you like. As in gee this is possible? Ok what could I do with this concept?

Also use the profile master as a spread sheet for books you read, and movies you see. :) You’ll be surprised how few new ideas there are in the world.. It’s all in how it is written about. That should get rid of fears of being boring and dull as there are so many things that are already done that you think of redoing.. Ask yourself how you can take the old and make it new instead..

9) The last bit of advice I can give is simply ask someone who is capable of being open to what you are writing.. this M.L. has a few good writers, and there are probably others whom you know that might be of assistance if you get jammed and these other ideas don’t get you any results.

MASTER PROFILE SHEET

NAME:
SPECIES WHERE APPLICABLE:
RACE:
ETHNIC GROUP:
GENDER:
BIRTH PLANET:
PLANETARY SYSTEM:
CITY OF BIRTH:
STATE:
COUNTY:
COUNTRY:
BIRTH DATE:
CURRENT AGE:
NICK NAMES:
PHYSICAL STATISTICS
HEIGHT:
WEIGHT:
BODY TYPE:
NECK:
SHOULDERS:
ARMS:
HANDS:
BREASTS/CHEST:
BELLY & WAIST:
LEGS & HIPS:
VOICE:
FACE & EYES:
HAIR COLOUR & STYLE:
PERCEIVED PHYSICAL IMPERFECTIONS
1
2
3

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES:
1
2
3
CLOTHING STYLES & FAVOURITE OUTFITS:
1
2
3
4
PERSONALITY TYPE:
CHARACTERISTIC GESTURES
1
2
3
4
RELIGION; WHERE APPLICABLE:
GENERAL PERSONALITY TYPE:
INTROVERT?
EXTROVERT?
QUIRKS:
1
2
3
ECCENTRICITIES:
1
2
3
TEMPERAMENT:
SENSE OF HUMOUR:
METHOD OF HANDLING ANGER/RAGE:
ADMIRABLE TRAITS:
1
2
3
4
NEGATIVE TRAITS:
1
2
3
BAD HABITS/VICES:
1
2
3
4
PREJUDICES:
1
2
3
PET PEEVES/GRIPES:
1
2
3
4
FAVOURITE PET SAYINGS, WORDS/IDIOLECT:
1
2
3
4
SPEAKING STYLES;
PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE:
TYPE AND # OF CLOSE FRIENDS:
1
2
3
4
BEST FRIEND:
OTHER FRIENDS:
1
2
3
4
5
6
THINGS THAT MAKE UNCOMFORTABLE/ EMBARRASS:
1
2
3
4
MOST PAINFUL THINGS IN LIFE:
1
2
3
4
TRAUMAS/PSYCHOLOGICAL SCARS FROM PAST:
1
2
3
4
MOST CRUCIAL EXPERIENCE(S) THAT HELPED SHAPE PERSONALITY/ATTITUDES:
1
2
FEARS:
1
2
3
4
PHOBIAS:
1
2
3
4
MANIAS:
1
2
3
4
PHYSICAL ILLNESSES/AFFLICTIONS:
1
2
3
4
MENTAL DISTURBANCES:
1
2
3
4
HOBBIES:
1
2
3
4
INTERESTS:
1
2
3
4
SPORTS:
1
2
3
4
FAVOURITE PASTIME(S):
FAVOURITE SHOWS:
1
2
3
4
FAVOURITE MOVIES:
1
2
3
FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS:
1
2
3
PETS:
1
2
DRINKS ALCOHOL? :
HOW OFTEN?
IF DRINKS, WHAT IS FAVOURITE DRINK:
FAVOURITE MEAL:
FAVOURITE BOOKS:
1
2
3
DIET; RICH OR LOW CHOLESTEROL/FAT?:
FAVOURITE RESTAURANT/ETHNIC FOODS:
A:
B:
OPINIONS SECTION
OPINION ON ABORTION (As Example):
OPINION ON BIRTH CONTROL:
OPINION ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES:
OPINION ON HOMOSEXUALITY:
OPINION ON MILITARY INTERVENTION:
OPINION ON PROGRESS; SCIENTIFIC:
MEDICAL:
TECHNOLOGICAL:
OPINION ON CRIME/WEAPONS CONTROL:
OPINIONS PECULIAR TO CHARACTER:
1
2
3
4
LIVING SITUATION SECTION
HOME; APARTMENT/CONDO, MANSION, CASTLE ETC.. LOW INCOME/EXPENSIVE,
RENT OR OWN?
NEIGHBOURHOOD:
TRANSPORTATION:
OBEY LAWS:
DRIVE FAST/SLOW
INCOME:
INCLUDES BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES IF POSSIBLE:
STOCKS/BONDS, INHERITANCE WHERE APPLICABLE.
1
2
3
SEXUAL ATTITUDES SECTION
FAVOURITE PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES OF OPPOSITE SEX:
1
2
3
ATTRIBUTES OF CHARACTER THAT ATTRACT OPPOSITE SEX:
1
2
3
SEXUAL TURN ONS:
1
2
3
SEXUAL TURNOFFS:
1
2
3
SEXUAL ATTITUDES; PRUDE OR PROMISCUOUS:
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
I G:
YEARS OF SCHOOLING:
MAJOR/MINOR STUDIES IN COLLEGE:
1
2
3
4
DEGREES EARNED/AWARDED/ HONORARY:
1
2
3
GRADES ACHIEVED:
SPECIAL OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING WHERE APPLICABLE:
SKILLS/ABILITIES/ & TALENTS:
1
2
3
4
AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
1
2
3
CURRENT OCCUPATION:
PREVIOUS OCCUPATIONS:
1
2
3
4
MILITARY EXPERIENCE WHERE APPLICABLE:
WEAPONS OF CHOICE:
1
2
3
4
POLITICAL & SOCIAL ISSUES MOST IMPORTANT TO:
1
2
3
POLITICAL PARTY:
TYPE: LIBERAL, CONSERVATIVE, MIDDLE ROAD, RADICAL:
EVER BEEN ARRESTED?

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