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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The all-consuming Inspiration V Writers' Block.

All consuming Inspiration

How do you start a new project? Be it a short story or a 80,000 plus worded novel, you have to start somewhere. And for that you need inspiration.

It can come as sparks of thought during the hours of trying to get to sleep, in the middle of a boring business meeting or even in the aisle of a supermarket.

I've had all three. I've had ideas in most strange places. In fact I get so many I find it hard to keep up with them. Before I'm labelled as 'lucky' most of them are worthless, whereas others get forgotten quickly.

I used to keep a notebook on me, but found it  impossible to use. For instance I could be in a conversation or in my day job whilst treating a patient, and if I flipped open my notebook and began scribbling down my thoughts I'd soon be labelled rude! Not so say unprofessional in my day job.
So, my ideas are stored in my head, and yes I forget them. But notebooks are impractical for me. I bet I've lost some gems of a story though. Do you use a notebook, and how do you get around the impracticalities of writing in it without upsetting or arousing someone's curiosity?

Writers' Block

Then comes the block. The moment where NOTHING is happening. You could have the idea but unable to expand it, or no idea at all.

The more you panic and force your brain to work its magic, the worse it seems to be. Maybe unconsciously or not, you're feeling overwhelmed at the task ahead? Maybe you think this book won't be as good as the previous, or you've received so many rejections already you think what's the point in writing another book? This is anxiety.

The other option is that you're not writing the correct book. You'll know this if you're failing to become excited by your efforts, characters bore you, you find yourself using "fillers" and not getting anywhere with the plot.

Fillers: Resorting to boring description to fill the pages/unnecessary subplots/characters that spring in and out of the story for no apparent reason.

There is no shame in putting that particular book to one side and starting another. Never delete a book or destroy a manuscript. That masterpiece sentence or paragraph, or even chapter, could find a home elsewhere.

And there are loads of books on the subject. Too many for me to mention:

Break Writer's Block Now! (Writer's Library)
Learning Resources Writer's Block (LER3035)Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer's Block. Period.
Writer's Block Is A Crock: Write A Book In 3 Weeks - Or Less!
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