Ways to help beat writers block (especially while writing a novel)

Here are some suggestions I passed on to someone in a writers group in answer to their question

Looking for suggestions on “Writers Block”

1) Let your brain go elsewhere from a writing point. Try poetry or just a brain dump writing about what’s going on in your life. Maybe there’s another stress or emotion or some such that needs “out” in order to unstop the flow. Or just writing on something else and “stepping away” as suggested already would help.
2) If it’s more about being stuck in the story line itself, well there could be a bit of probing questions in the story line that could spark ideas. I’d suggest a read through another discussion on this board ”
How do you plan your stories? Started by Katherine Fish. Several of the ideas in there may also help. (WP folks, see my previous post 😀 – There were other good ideas in the group as well but.. they’re not on here … )
3) Pick a main character and write about their back story. Maybe filling in more detail along this line of thought will prompt ideas about where the story should head.
4) Do you have a general idea about where the story is headed (from a basic ending)? If not, think about that and try working backward a bit from there.
5) Toy with the idea of another character that is watching the MC in one of the scenes and write about things from their perspective, especially writing about the scene you are currently on or just finished. This might shed some light on where things can go.
6) In a similar vein to switching around, I have several MC’s in my book that have started off in different locations. When I get stuck on where to go next with one character, I can jump to another and that often helps.
7) If all else fails, set a timer for 15 minutes. Press go and just write, write, write… Don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t correct… even spelling. Just write whatever, it doesn’t have to be on your book. Get up, walks around for 5 minutes. Come back, set the timer for 15 minutes and try and beat the last word count. After a few of those, set the timer and just write, write, write on your book. You may throw all of it out, but you will work through different thoughts, ideas etc. and will have at the very least, ruled out some of the ways it can go… and you’ll have written.

I then added the following:

Just throwing out another thought. You said you’re trying to interweave three plots with various sub-plots into one book.
Maybe just focus on one of the plots and try to write about that one only. If you get stuck on that one plot, then switch to another one. And I’ll add to number my number 4) above. If you know where they all will end up together… work backward in thought until you see where they split. Then work on getting one of them to that point. Get stuck, move to another one and work on getting it to the meeting / crossing point. You may be getting overwhelmed with the “how the heck am I going to make ALL these work” that’s why I’m suggesting focusing on just one. Who knows, you may find that the one main plot is enough for one book and the other ones may cross paths but be their own book.


Hope this helps someone





About Stephen Kellogg

Poetry, Ponderings, Prose, Photos & Pounding out the Pathways All at my blog... I hope you'll take a few minutes to wander around the site. Not all of what you read there will be happy or sad etc. but I trust my writings, photos etc will encourage, touch, inspire or just make you think…. I really appreciate feedback!! Thanks and enjoy Peace! Stephen Kellogg All of my writings, pictures etc are original works, unless otherwise noted, and should be considered copyrighted.
This entry was posted in Prose and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ways to help beat writers block (especially while writing a novel)

  1. Terrific insights~ taking a breather and one that always serves me is classical music. Thanks Stephen!`Deborah

  2. Deborah,
    Thanks for the continued support. I’ve been a way for a bit but hopefully that’s changed and I’ll be back at it.
    Classical music (actually all kinds of music depending on my mood) help me too.



Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s