Three ways to overcome writer’s block

Ever have a great opening to your story but don’t quite no where to go next with it? If you’re thinking you may have a bad case of writer’s block, then the time has come for a little Rx to the malady. Here are three techniques that other writers have successfully used.

Keep outlining
Usually the cause of writer’s block is that the writer hasn’t thought enough about the story. This is where outlining can prove beneficial. It allows you to write what each scene in the story generally will be about –specifically its main conflict and an outcome – so that you later can creatively expand upon it by filling in the details of the setting, beat-by-beat action, and dialogue between characters. Think of the outline as mere stage directions with you the author are the actor who makes those instructions come alive.

Write through it
If the block merely is over a single line – say a character’s witty retort or a phrase to describe the setting – try “writing through it.” That is, leave parts of the draft in outline form where you just write, in brackets, what you hope to achieve and then continue on with the scene that you are ready to write. This will give you some time to think about how to write point B on the line from A to C but keep you progressing with the story. Another reader or an editor then can review the draft and offer some thoughts on what to write for point B, spurring you on to creativity.

Expose yourself
Walk someplace that always has inspired you to creativity. Maybe it’s a hiking trail, maybe it’s an art museum, maybe it’s a walk along a wharf. Walking, especially in nature, helps refresh your mind, scientific studies show. Along the way, you even may encounter something that gives you just the right words to use or that helps you come up with the next scene. Just be sure to bring a pen and notepad with you so you can jot down the idea lest you forget it upon returning from the walk!