Thursday, May 2, 2019

Dear O'Abby: Help! I Have Writer's Block

Dear O'Abby,

I've been working on a novel for a while now (not my first) and I've reached a point that I just don't seem to get past.  I'm an outliner, so the part of the story makes sense in my outline, but I just can't seem to write it.  I've never really believed in writer's block, but I feel like I do now.

Do you have any ideas what I could do to get over this?



Dear Blocked,

I believe very strongly that writer's block is your brain's way of telling you you're going the wrong way or doing the wrong thing. So I tend to pay attention.  The team at the back of my brain is often way ahead of the guys up front.

In this case, where you've outlined the plot points but the writing still isn't coming, I think this is even more likely to be true.  Something in there is telling you this is the wrong direction for the story to take, or that the characters wouldn't be true to themselves if they did that particular thing or things.

My advice would be to step away from this story for a while and write something else.  I find I often figure out how to fix problems with one MS by moving on to work on another or by writing a short story that's totally unrelated.

But if you're on a deadline, you can just skip this part of the book and move ahead to a point in the story where you don't feel stuck.  Maybe through writing the rest of the book, you'll figure out what needs to happen in that particular sticky spot.

Good luck!

X O'Abby

1 comment:

  1. Great advice. I also find going over past writing and doing some boring editing tasks often motivates me to write again. Julie S


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