Nine Ways to Cure Writer’s Book for Novelists
by Ayrton Avery
If you plan on writing even a short novel, expect to get stuck on it at least once. However, writer’s block can become a serious issue that takes time, patience, and determination to overcome. Don’t use it as an excuse to give up on your project! The ideas I have listed before may not be a perfect solution, but I always go through these nine tips in order when I’m facing a severe spell of writer’s block. Here are Nine Ways to Cure Writer’s Book for Novelists
1 List out and organize your ideas
Strangely enough, having a surplus of amazing ideas can cause writer’s block if you don’t know which one to start with. You don’t have to begin by writing clear, beautiful prose. I often start new stories with a list of barely complete sentences showcasing events and ideas. Once you have such a list, filling in the gaps and making clean, pretty paragraphs is easy.
2 Draw or act out the last scene you wrote
This is a technique I always use. If you are familiar with drama, even just thinking about your book in terms of “center-stage” and entrances and exits reduces any problem of writer’s block to, “what would happen next in a play?” If you are more of an art person, and perhaps your writing is more descriptive, try drawing everything you’ve just described. A sketch will do. You will immediately see all the gaps. Now go back into your text and fill in those gaps. It’s a well-tested technique that works infallibly.
3 Read what you have already written
This helps you get reacquainted with your style, make sure your plot is smooth, and get to know all the gaps in your text. Don’t forget to edit while you’re reading. And if you note any ideas you have for future scenes in the margins, as I do, read those too. They may be helpful in the scene you’re currently stuck on.
4 Try handwriting
Getting away from the keyboard and the screen also gets you away from distractions and brings you closer to your words.
5 Try journaling or writing something else
If you have been focusing on your book for too long, it may be time for you to ramble and get out on paper the ideas that are distracting you. Also, all your juice might have run out for this book, and it may be time for you to rejuvenate on something smaller, like a short story or a poem.
Yes, you cannot be a writer without being a reader! Try reading something related to your book. For example, if one of your characters is psychologically unbalanced, try reading a nonfiction book about the behaviors of imbalanced people in this way. However, turning to your favorite fiction author will also be a plus.
7 Take a break from literature
Yes, stop reading, stop writing, stop even thinking about writing. Go outside for a day. Go to a concert. Anywhere where you may find inspiration. Remember: inspiration is found in unexpected places.
8 Change your writing space
Try writing at a different time. Some people instantly cure their writer’s block by writing at night or in complete darkness. You may prefer to write in an empty room or want your office to be well-decorated. Try different things out!
Also, try using a different writing app: thousands are out there. You may find Microsoft Word too uninspiring. Or you may prefer a minimalist word professor, even a plain text editor. Sometimes writer’s block shows you something in your writing setup is not quite right.
9 Go on a complete detox
If you have gotten this far on the list, it’s probably time for a complete detox. Quit social media. Reduce your circle of friends to two. Read only the longest and most challenging books. Remove yourself from all activities that do not sharpen the mind. Once the ordeal ends, you may find inspiration coming out of the sheer void.
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