Such a Time As This: 5 Steps to Demolishing Writer’s Block.

The greatest form of Writer’s Block is lack of time (it’s really lack of scheduling time, but for now, let’s just call it time).

Well, now you do!

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Break that Block!

I’m not suggesting you abuse your Work from Home status if you are working from home for your day job, but there’s commute time-savings that can now be devoted to writing that book you’ve been meaning to write.

I know, I know, the first week or two was all about binge watching TV, but that gets old fast. There’s only so much yardwork. Grab that laptop and get comfy. Here are a few tips for getting started.

  1. You don’t have to begin at the beginning. Eventually you’ll have to write that, but that scene that’s been clawing at your mind? Write that. If you’re afraid of writing a book, don’t, just write chapters. You can assemble them all later. That’s the Post-It Note method of writing. You write all the juicy stuff, then fill in what’s needed. (I’m going to plug Scrivener again, because it’s GREAT for this method).
  2. Get to know your character. If the character is single, how would they write his or her dating profile for an online link-up site? You don’t have to include that in the book, it may be something your character would never do… that’s OK because it’s just about getting to know how your characters thinks about themselves. Alternatively, you can create their LinkedIn profile or any other kind of profile the characters would write about themselves.
  3. Write Your Character’s Eulogy. It’s said that there are two ways people think about you, the expedient way for day to day interaction—which can be harsh, truthful, and oh-so-private—and their cleaned-up way. This is the kind of thing that would be shared as a Eulogy, which has its own kind of truth. In the first way, they look at the worst, in the second, the best. Your story will display the expedient way. This eulogy is the subtext of how one character views another. For example, I had a college friend who was selfish, deceitful, and opportunistic. He was also knowledgeable, talented, and fun to be around. We operated out of both, but the negative was close to mind for survival, yet the positive influenced everything we did.
  4. Write the Travel Article. Where do your characters live? What is the setting? How would each character write a travel article? Some would be disparaging, others lyrical, others selling the place. How characters think about their setting is important.
  5. Figure out your best entry point and exploit it. I love beginnings. That’s where I start. However, if I think in terms of Acts, a story has at least three beginnings, one for each act. When I get stuck, I can write the beginning of Act Two or Act Three. That would give me tentpoles from which to swing, so filling in the story is easy. My son likes to write action, those are his tentpoles. What are yours?

We may be staying home for a while. We can see that as a negative, or we can see it as a positive.

How do YOU get started?

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