Hello. Come on in. I know why you’re here. I’d offer you a drink, but we both know that’s not going to help.
No, you’re here because you have a problem. It’s all right. You don’t have to tell me. I can see it in your face.
And I can see it because I’ve been there. Every writer has. You’re writing a story, but you have a huge fucking problem: you don’t know what happens next.
It’s okay. It happens to the best of us.
Maybe you should have that drink now.
The good news, though, is that I can help. Well, I say I can help. Really you can help yourself. But I know a few things to get you back on track.
You’ve got a character, right? Or maybe more than one, but there’s someone who is the focus of whatever you’re writing. They’re the centre of this scene, chapter, whatever. They’re there, in the situation. They’re dealing with sexual encounters, arguing families, alien invasions, magic gone wrong. They’re getting it done.
Tell me: if you were to ask them, what do you think they’d tell you is the worst possible thing that could ever happen right now?
That’s what you should write next.
It sounds cruel, but…no, there’s no excuse, it is cruel. But that’s the nature of fiction. If you really loved your characters, you want them to be happy all the time, and then you’d have no story. Because the centre of story is conflict. If there’s nothing wrong, then there’s no story. Or not one that anyone with a fucking pulse is interested in reading.
So, if you want to know what happens next, just ask your characters. Ask them about their fears, their insecurities, their worst nightmares. It might not be exactly what you need—you might have to tweak things a little—but it will get things moving again. Guaranteed.
7 thoughts on “Monday Challenge: The Cure For Writer’s Block”
This is awesome advice.
Great tip. Thanks.
Thank you! x
Love your ninja attitude and sage advice. Does that make you Ninja-Yoda? Perhaps… Thanks for the inspiration! (Found you on Freshly Pressed. How cool are you?!)
I prefer to think of myself as Word-Hulk: no barrier that can’t be smashed.
And, yeah, the Freshly Pressed thing did make me feel pretty awesome. ^_^
Great tip. Maybe I should kill that character, who’s currently lying unconscious. That’s really thrown a cat among my writing pigeons. How did I forget that she could just die?
And suddenly the rest of your characters feel a lot less safe.