Writer’s block is commonly seen in both new and experienced writers, and it can sometimes keep writers from getting a good story down on paper for years at a time. There are a lot of things out there that can be the source of your block, and eliminating them from the writing process just requires a little bit of a change in how you think about ideas and how to come up with them.
Here’s a handy list of some of the things that can keep writers from telling their stories – and how you can keep it from impacting yours.
The Appearance of Characters
Character appearance is important for your story – but not as important for the development or progression of your story as you think. Appearance is a detail that you can fuss about later. Who your characters are as people and how they progress in the story should always be considered as much more important details when you’re trying to write a novel .
What to Name Things
Names are one of the most common story elements where writers get stuck, and it happens even to seasoned professionals who have been writing fiction for a living for more than 20 years. Don’t get stuck on small details like the name – and don’t let it hold you back from being able to write your story.
Remember that you can always go back in your story to change names that you aren’t happy with during the editing phase, but fixing plot screw ups is much harder.
If you’re really stuck on a name for a place or character, use a name generator and move on so that you can focus on the more important parts of your story instead.
A Lack of Ideas
A lot of writers who are currently going through writer’s block will claim that it’s because of a lack of ideas – and it’s usually because they’re thinking about ideas in the wrong way. Original ideas are all around us, and anything that you think of can trigger an idea or a concept – and where you need to find inspiration, take a walk or read through a newspaper until it makes you think of something useful.
Writers should also get into the good habit of always keeping notes and writing down ideas as they happen. If you hit a time period where you feel like you can’t write or come up with ideas, refer back to previous notebooks that were written at the height of inspiration.
Write and Stop Editing
A lot of writers will think about the editing phase too much while writing. It’s great to have some foresight – but it’s not great to think about editing your book so much that it stands in the way of getting it written. The editing phase is considered something that happens after writing your first draft down for a reason.
Don’t think about editing your book while you’re writing it. That comes much, much later. Focus on writing your story down first and leave all the small details and spelling corrections for later on in your story.
The Wrong Start
The logical place to start a story is at the beginning, but most writers will also tell you that the beginning of a story or chapter can be one of the most difficult parts of any book to take on. There’s no reason why you should have to start writing your story at the first act or opening scene – if you prefer to start with the ending, go for it.
As a writer, getting to do what you want is one of the great things about creating a story. Remember that you can always get to the story’s beginning or first chapter later on.