Writing: Getting Unstuck

Sometimes you’re not blocked so much as stuck. For example, I have about twenty-five different novel projects because random bits of dialogue and setting pop into my head, but only seven of them contain more than a couple scenes. Sometimes these incomplete ideas are because I haven’t invested time in plotting the story, but sometimes I just get stuck. This isn’t always the same as writer’s block (the difference for me is when I’m blocked I can’t write ANYTHING, but when I’m stuck I just can’t write anything for a particular project), but how do you get unstuck?

This article from Writer’s Digest showed up in my inbox a little while ago and it offers a few different ideas to move you forward. The author specifically talks about research, conflict, and genre switching to help open your mind to possibilities, but these aren’t the only possibilities. Switch POVs and try writing a scene or two from a different character’s eyes. Try writing a scene completely unconnected with the story where your characters have to deal with an extremely odd situation (OMG! Where did all those tiny ninjas come from?!). There’s no wrong answer, but that’s really because there’s no right answer. No solution is guaranteed. On top of that, the solution that gets you unstuck on one project might not work on your next. Also, you should try a few different methods, but don’t let yourself get distracted researching cures for writer’s block. Sometimes a story isn’t working because it doesn’t work. If that’s the case, you might be sitting there forever if you don’t one day realize it’s time to throw in the towel.

Other articles you might find useful:
Advanced Fiction Writing.com
Cynthia Sally Haggard
Psychology Today
Story Hack.com

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