Monday, April 27, 2015

Advice For Writers #34: Tips For Road Blocks and Plot Holes

I asked Twitter for ideas for Advice posts because my mind went blank and this is what I got:

Let's do this.

Writer's block can be called many different things and be different degrees of frustrating. Maybe you're just stuck on a certain part, or maybe you can't write a single word. There's endless advice for dealing with this situation and I'm sure we'll write more posts about it, over and over again, but here's my two cents.

10 Tips Do For Road Blocks and Plot Holes

10. Chocolate makes everything better. Say you're stuck, or you've encountered the biggest plot hole of your life, we're talking black hole big, eat some chocolate. It helps with the stress.

9. Nap/read a book. When I'm not feeling very inspired because I'm stuck or for whatever reason, I like to read. Rereading a favorite book or a new book helps me remember how much I love books and how much I want to be an author. It helps me find new inspiration. Also, nap. Napping is good. You wake up feeling refreshed, ready to tackle your problems.

8. Do something fun. Get away from the computer, even just for a few minutes. I personally like to go and play video games with my brothers for a little while, get my mind off everything and just have fun. Then go to writing.

7. Go for a run or walk. Just get a change of scenery. A lot of authors run on a treadmill when they get stuck.

6. Take a shower. First of all, you probably smell after doing #7. Secondly, I personally do my best thinking in the shower. Everything else is blocked out, I don't have that blank screen staring me STRAIGHT IN THE FACE, and I can work my problems out.

5.  Take a break. If you can't immediately think through your problem then step away from it for a little while. Go watch some TV, turn your brain off and let it do its own thing.

4. Talk it through. Sometimes you just need to talk about your book, even if you're more talking at someone then to them. You just need someone to bounce ideas off of. Talking through everything out loud can really be helpful.

3. Spitball ideas. This is one of the first things I do when I get stuck, when I don't know where to take the book next or how to get from point A to point B, and it's something I read on Marissa Meyer's blog a couple years ago. Basically, you grab a blank piece of paper and you write out a list of every single thing that could happen next. Every patch for your plot hole. Insanely crazy things, totally random things, even write down adding an alien to your contemporary romance novel. Have fun with it and hopefully you'll stumble across something that will actually work.

2. Backtrack. Say you've taken a break, talked through it, eaten copious amounts of chocolate, gone for a run, taken a shower and done every single thing I've told you to so far...yet you're still stuck. Backtrack. Go back and read everything you've already written, or even just the last few chapters. Chances are you're unhappy with something you maybe can't pinpoint, and reading through everything will help make it clearer.

1. Just relax. Yes, writer's block sucks, plot holes are worse, and all of it is very stressing but you can't force it. If you try to, it just gets worse. So sometimes you just have kick back, watch some TV and just wait for the words to come to you.

What are some you YOUR top tips for handling writer's block?

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