Thursday, October 22, 2015

Writer's Block

Someone asked me the other day about writer's block. Perhaps it's something I used to struggle with but not anymore. I've learned not to stress if I reach a point in the story and I'm unsure how to proceed.

I've found if I relax, get away from the computer for a bit, my brain works through the solution. Even if it doesn't immediately, I can skip ahead to another scene, although I seldom do that now.

I've mentioned before how I've worked out the best writing plan for me. I write 20,000 words at a time--the beginning, the middle, and the end. I do not do a detailed outline but do know how I want each section to end and work toward that goal. I jot down scenes, as many as I can think of, before I begin writing. Until I get the beginning close to being coherent, I don't move on to the next part. 

This first draft is only for getting down the story. Later I go back to add more description or other details. I also keep a notebook for each book I write and gather quotes, ideas, characters, names, etc. as I go along. 

It's always been amazing how many ideas jump out at me from movies, books, articles, or even everyday life when I write. I often wonder if it's because I'm looking for them or being led to them. Either way works. 

And I have to mention music. Music is a big part of summoning the writing muse. 

So, writer's block? What's that? :)


  1. Do you really write 20,000 words at a time? Wow! I can get about 1000 during one session. Since discovering the Three Act Story Structure, writing has been much easier. I use this structure as an outline, filling in as I go and modifying as needed. (Yes, I went back in and ripped out 20,000 words from the first published version of that first book and rewrote it! Kill those darlings, right?) I also follow your methods in the other points, except music. After years of dance class, when the music starts, I dance, even if it is only in my mind. Sort of kills the writing muse....

    Looking forward to picking up your new books, Sheila.

    1. Not all in one writing session! I've discovered if I write over 10,000 words a day that I'm brain dead for a few days! I do try to write the 20,000 words within a week so that I can keep the momentum going. Thanks for stopping by, Marie!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.