Nano 30 Tips for 30 Days: Day 22: Blocks

Blocks are ways to get in your own way. Whether it’s self-sabotage or something not working in your story, blocks can turn into excuses. Don’t let them. If you need to write four pages, you sit down and you write them. If your characters aren’t talking to you, write about your character. Or write about a character or situation from a different character’s point of view. Or, if you’re writing in third person, write a scene in first person through a character’s eyes.

Will it stay in your final draft? Probably not. But it will get you thinking and seeing from a different perspective, and that can be helpful when you feel stuck.

The most important thing to do when you’re blocked is not to stop. Not to say, “I’m blocked” or “I can’t.” You bust through it and keep going. It may take you someplace you never expected in your piece and that can be a good thing. It may eventually lead you back, or you may find you have a completely different piece.

If you try to play God too much in the first draft, control too much, you shoot yourself in the Creative Foot. The less you try to force it, the better it will flow. That sounds like the opposite of “sit there and make yourself do it” but it’s not. Creative Constipation can be broken if you stop trying to play God and remember to just play.

That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break. Walk away from the page for a few hours. Take a walk (walking a labyrinth can unlock all kinds of ideas). Do some yoga poses. Take a run. Bake cookies. Do the dishes. Take a shower. I get many breakthroughs in the shower, and I’m really, really, REALLY clean when I keep getting stuck.

But don’t give up until you’ve met your quota.

Come Write In! at the Marstons Mills Public Library, 2160 Main St., Marstons Mills
Tuesdays 11-1, Thursdays 2-4 during November.

Published in: on November 22, 2015 at 5:06 am  Comments Off on Nano 30 Tips for 30 Days: Day 22: Blocks  
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