Monday, July 10, 2006

Welcome to my blog--my first!

Recently I had a conversation with someone who couldn't seem to get past his "writer's block." The block can happen at any point in the writing process.

I'm in the final edit of my novel. I keep telling myself it's done. Yet each time I read it, I find something else that needs to be tweaked. I've found entire paragraphs or sometimes pages that absolutely scream to be replaced. Unfortunately, I don't always have an immediate solution. So my solution is to not push it.

Writer's block is akin to when you start to speak and you lose track of what you're going to say. If you go on to something else, it often comes right back to you. See my point?

When that happens, I pick up a book and read. Sometimes it’s the other author's style or maybe a word that jumps out at me and the ideas start coming in again. If it has to do with technique, I open one of my many "how to" books. The same thing happens. I can often find answers to my problems and am immediately drawn back the computer.

Here's another idea: Imagine your book on the silver screen. What do you see? Who are the actors? What do hear? What odors do the characters smell? Even rain has an unmistakable odor. What song was chosen for your movie? What are the words to the song? Do the words describe the sentiment of your story?

You say your day job gets in the way of your writing? Start a journal of the things you do, see, hear, and feel during your work day. What quirky things do your co-workers do that either amuses or irritates you? Might they make a good character in your book? One of my characters is an odd little man. I couldn’t quite see him until I went to the market one day and there in front of me at the check out was this short chubby man. He was bald like my character and had the hairiest back chest and arms I’d ever want to see on a man, but he WAS JUST like my character. After that, when I wrote in that character’s POV, I knew exactly how he looked and how he would behave.

Use your everyday life as a resource for your writing. You'll never run out of material!

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