10 Writing Techniques to Break Writer’s Block
Everyone, from time to time, has issues with inspiration. Everyone has issues with being able to get the creative ball rolling, or you find yourself looking at a blank page, not being able to come up with the next line.
Writer’s block can be very frustrating. So we’ve searched and surveyed writers and writing teachers to see some of the techniques they use to help students break the writer’s block.
Here are 10 techniques that we hope will get your writing again. Every little bit helps. The important thing to do is to keep writing. Don’t give up. Try to write a little every day. There is only one rule, try again.
1. Steam of Consciousness
The idea behind stream of consciousness writing is simple, just write. Write what’s happening right now, write and write, and your block will disappear. It’s true sometimes. I feel like whenever I use this technique I find out something new about my writing. Sometimes I even find out something new about the book I’m writing.
It’s simple to do: get a pen and paper and just start writing. Write what comes to mind, no matter what it is. Keep writing and writing.
2. Different point of view
If you are stuck in a story, many times it helps to jump into a different point of view. For instance your main character falls down a flight of stairs. Jump into the doorman’s point of view and see him tumbling down. I find that if I jump into 2nd person, it seems to help my flow.
3. Write the ending
Many writers write by discovery. This is usually the way I write, but if you get stuck, jump ahead. Write the ending of the chapter. You can write the end of the book too, if you want but if you feel like that will ruin something for you, just jump a little bit ahead. Go to the next chapter. Starting anew usually helps.
4. The Breaking Bad (start with the moment of falling action)
If you are really stuck, do what many people saw happening in the hit TV show Breaking Bad. Start writing the moment after the most exciting thing happens in the story. So the main character is blown up by a bomb, start 1 second after that. Start writing after the chaos, and it will help you. Put a scene from the falling action at the beginning of the piece…just like Breaking Bad.
5. The Nick Hemingway (create an author surrogate)
Sometimes being closer to the story helps. Just like the earlier technique of changing point of view, try changing the point of view to a character who represents you. Hemingway used Nick to represent himself in a story, do this. Your main character is held at gun point in a 7/11, be the guy buying milk in the last isle hoping not to be seen. Write it from that point of view.
6. Take a bath your dog has fleas….bathos
Bathos is a transition from high to low….but take this one any way that helps. Have a bum on the street break into iambic pentameter or a poet start speaking street. Make an abrupt change in the tone of your work.
7. Pastiche Parody/flattery
This one is simple and fun. Write your favorite movie, tv show, book or comic, change the plot to what you want to happen. Just rewrite a story you like, in your own way. Use the same character names even, and then change them later. This works very well.
8. Ended it Right
This is just about the same as number 7, but only write rewrite the ending or what happened to the characters after the end of the show or movie or book. So you always wondered what happened to Harry and Sally from Harry Met Sally, write them 10 years later.
9. Quirky quickie
Make a character who has a very unusual disability show up in your story. Even if you don’t intend to use it in your story, just do it to get writing. The six toed man trying to buy a pair of shoes. The man with a cone head talks to the main character while she is crying. Anything that will break up your normal tone
10. Epistolary carry
Write yourself a series of letters talking about the same events from different points of view.
Mom today I saw a horrible car crash.
I would have been at the train station waiting for you Laura, but I was in a car accident. My car was hit by a falling bridge.
Jason, if you would have only met me at the train station, I wouldn’t have married Martin.
You get the point.
When writers block becomes an issue, try these 10 techniques in writing. They have helped me and many other writers get back on track.