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S. Lynn Helton

S. Lynn Helton

Fantasy Children's
    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 1 year ago
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    • Have you ever experienced "Writer's Block"? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
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      • S. Lynn Helton S. Lynn Helton 1 year ago
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      • At first, I was inclined to say, “I don’t believe in it”. And that’s true in a way. I don’t believe in it for me in the popular sense of something that completely halts my writing, something that I then must agonize over for days, or longer. When I hear “writer’s block," I always picture a path, winding through a dense evergreen forest, with a huge stone block sitting in the middle, preventing any forward progress. That’s the block I don’t believe in.

        But as something that gives me pause in just plunging ahead in my drafting... Yes, I’ve certainly encountered writer’s block.

        For me, writer’s block takes the form of an uncertainty about what’s coming next. Sometimes it’s an uneasiness about something in the story. And that’s been a sign for me.

        Perhaps I don’t know my characters as well as I thought. So I need to pause in writing the story to figure out more about them, what makes them tick. Other times, it’s related to continuity. I want a certain event to happen, but it’s just not fitting into the story. Maybe I haven’t done the set-up well enough for the event to make sense, or make sense at that point in the story. Or maybe it’s wrong for the characters. So I pause.

        I make sure I treat it as a pause, not a dead stop. That way I know I’ll be moving forward again. I just need a little bit of time before I can do that. No need to agonize over it.

        So how do I overcome writer’s block? I take a step back from the writing and figure out what’s giving me the feeling of uncertainty, what's missing that’s making the ideas slow down or feel wrong. Then I take a short break from the draft to fill in holes I’ve discovered. Sometimes I’ll make extensive notes. Other times I just ponder a bit to figure out what’s missing. Maybe I’ll return to the draft to add some details before the troublesome section. Then I’m ready to dive back in and move forward with the story.

        That’s what's worked for me.
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