‘Writer’s Block’

The evil ‘Writer’s Block.’

There are many different opinions that people have about this evil thing. I am not going to get into the different schools of thought.

Mine, it doesn’t exist.

I shall say it one more time to make sure that you fully understand that I am being clear.

‘Writer’s Block’ doesn’t exist.

Not is the sense that it is often portrayed. People say that they are blocked from writing and that they can’t write a thing. That they are suffering from a disease that stops them from creating a plot and story. Like asthma stopping a person from breathing. And sometimes, not being able to do something that you want to do may feel like it.

But I call bullocks to it.

I get times that I feel like I am drowning in the story. I lose interest in it as I have lost track of the characters or I have lost track of the plot. Or I took a wrong turn that ended up in a dead-end and now the story isn’t meshing for some unknown reason.

The way I write is that I don’t do a full outline and I am not a discovery writer. I do what I call Signpost Writing. The Signpost method is that I come up with a very loose rough ‘Outline’. Usually in the form of scene ideas that I intend to write to. For example, I want a really cool fight scene so I will write my way to that scene making sure that things are set up and foreshadowed along the way.

When I get stopped, it is usually that I have come up with something different that I hadn’t thought up before and that now the rest of my story isn’t meshing. At that point, I have to figure out what is wrong with the story and fix it. Either I need to fix my remaining signposts, or I need to go back and fix written parts of my story.

It happens all the time, and once you recognize the signs of it, it is easy to combat. Frustrating when you have deadlines to meet, but treatable.

Now there is another form of ‘Writer’s Block.’ Where you want to write a story, but you can’t come up with a good idea. You start thinking about an idea, then you realize that it has been done before. That you have been simply replaying a movie that you remember. And that is okay too.

The first rule of storytelling, all ideas have been done before. The movie Avatar is the same story as Pocahontas or as the Story of Moses. But all three stories are very different from one another.

If you feel that you are being blocked by the lack of ideas, then you need to brainstorm. Start small, then go big. Come up with a small idea that you can build off of. A cool weapon, magic, or a fight scene. Or even a cool character. Start asking questions about him/her. Start giving the character a backstory and a history. Don’t worry about a full story, after you start brainstorming, the story will emerge from the brainstorm.

I may write another post about my method of brainstorming in a future blogpost.

I hope this clarifies my view of ‘Writer’s Block’ or the lack thereof.

Until next time.