Aspiring authors, it’s the middle of NaNoWriMo and our month of focusing on aspiring authors. Hopefully you are chugging right along on your manuscript and have been inspired by all of the writing tips and suggestions from authors across the genres in our series of daily posts. But even during such inspirational times, writer’s block is an ever-present threat. Honestly, I am feeling it lurking around the corner of my mind as I write this blog post.
So here are some handy exercises to help you battle this brain beast and get back to your story.
Exercise One: Solve It! — So you’ve created a character, let’s call it X. X is the coolest person in the world, not only does X always have good comebacks (you know, the ones you wish came to you when you needed them) but X is attractive and beloved by all. Now I know what I am about to ask is difficult, it may even hurt a little bit. But no pain, no gain! Create a scene where X has a giant flaw. I’m not just talking a pimple on X’s nose, but something horrible, for example X's fear of heights causes someone to be seriously injured. Now make the scene work.
Exercise Two: Explain, Explain, Explain — Sometimes writer's block strikes before you've even written the first word. But the most daunting thing in the world is staring at that flashing cursor on your blank document. So grab a pen and paper and head outside. Spend five minutes just listening to the sounds outside of your house (or preferred place to write) and then write a scene about one of the sounds you heard — and don't be afraid to tackle a scene explaining why you didn't hear anything.
Exercise Three: Fast Forward — Lack of inspiration can make you feel like time has slowed to a stop. So take the beginning details of a new character and press "fast forward" on their adventure. It's five years after your story, so let's check in with your character. Where do they live? What is their favorite possession? How has their appearance changed? And what is one regret that they have about the past? Don't be afraid to answer these questions several different ways! There is no one right answer for this.
Hopefully these three writing exercises will help you stay focused, on point, and sharp enough to combat any writer's block that may try to interrupt your productivity!