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BS: Writer's block

GUEST 28 Nov 04 - 07:27 AM
Megan L 28 Nov 04 - 08:55 AM
Amos 28 Nov 04 - 09:22 AM
GUEST 28 Nov 04 - 08:50 PM
Amos 28 Nov 04 - 09:29 PM
Mudlark 28 Nov 04 - 09:42 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 28 Nov 04 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,John O'Lennaine 28 Nov 04 - 11:00 PM
katlaughing 28 Nov 04 - 11:41 PM
GUEST 29 Nov 04 - 04:37 AM
open mike 29 Nov 04 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,blockhead 29 Nov 04 - 06:44 AM
wysiwyg 29 Nov 04 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,amergin 29 Nov 04 - 01:19 PM
beardedbruce 29 Nov 04 - 04:29 PM
Mr Red 29 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM
Chief Chaos 29 Nov 04 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,petr 29 Nov 04 - 10:51 PM
dianavan 29 Nov 04 - 11:09 PM
Gervase 30 Nov 04 - 02:02 PM

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Subject: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 07:27 AM

Hi Guys

I have five chapters, a publisher, and writer's block.

any advice?


Blockhead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: Megan L
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:55 AM

Write something several times a day even if its rubbish, the brain then begins to remember what it is supposed to be doing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: Amos
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 09:22 AM

Read a book called "The Artist's Way".

Write three pages today, right now, of anything at all. Start writing anything that comes to mind and push on doing so for three pages.

Do it again tomorrow.

Congratulations on a publisher!!

Love,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:50 PM

You think you got problems?
It took me 2 hours to write this


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: Amos
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 09:29 PM

Guest:

Tell me what happened exactly during those two hours.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: Mudlark
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 09:42 PM

Guest...great you've got a publisher but that does create some pressure, I imagine. And pressure, alone, can precipitate writer's block.   Good advice to just write...anything...even if it's just pages of "I've got nothing to write about." If you do that long enough you WILL write other stuff as well.

The Artist's Way is a good general creative spur, but you also might try reading Writing Down the Bones, by Goldberg, Writing for Your Life, by Metzger, both very motivational and inspiring in non-blue sky ways; or even Overcoming Writing Block, by Mack and Skjei. The last is more simplistic but even obvious suggestions, like taking a prompt from ANY sentence taken at random from any source (the Bible can be a real challenge!), doing 100 word vignettes on people, objects, places, etc., taking a crack at turning already existing prose into poetry as a change of pace...all stuff just to jolly your writing mind into behaving itself.

I'm sure your Muse hasn't abandoned you completely. If you've got 5 chap. written, you can write 5 more. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 09:57 PM

Set a schedule.

Make it whatever works, mornings, evenings, nights, whatever...AND stick-to-it.

If necessary, shower and redress in attire for a formal office job.

Do NOT break the routine ----- if you have nothing to write ---- just write ANYTHING ---- and keep returning to the target..... do NOT access the web ---- (unplug-cripple-net-software.)

For myself, on the first "big-one" when approval was given and contracts signed - I continued the ten chapters, of my responsibility...in a church office, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. - five days a week. No interruptions, no diversions, because I was renting "computer time" by the hour....there was a personal investment that required optimal use of the time.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST,John O'Lennaine
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:00 PM

Gargoyle's advice is sound.

Write anything, just keep writing. You can edit the rubbish out at any time.
Just write your way out of the slumnp. Your form will return, but not if you don't give it the chance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:41 PM

Excellent advice. I would also recommend Stephen King's book, "On Writing."

As a fun exercise to spark the creativity, look back at some of the old Mudcat story threads and write an addition, just for yourself or to post; create a new character for one of them; or, start a new story thread. Some of the really good ones have these in the titles, so that you can find them in a search "Albert Hansell," "Follow the Drinking Gourd," "Shangri La." Also, there was a thread which challenged us to write stories of exactly 100 words. I'll refresh it for you. Quick and easy...reading others' creative efforts can spark our own, sometimes.

Keep writing is the most important thing and sticking to a schedule..not letting anything intrude or interrupt!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 04:37 AM

I was editing it, Amos


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: open mike
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 04:42 AM

WRITE 1,000 WORDS...
A DAY...
AND THEN DO IT AGAIN...
experiment with stream
of consciousness...
just let the ideas
flow one into the other..
a game i used to play with my
kids at bed time was that
they would pick 3 words and
I would weave a story around them..
you might try something like that..
start with a "skeleton" then "flesh it out"

if you have an offer to publish, you
must already have an outline or idea
that jsut needs to be expanded upon.

good luck!


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST,blockhead
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 06:44 AM

Thank you, all of you, for your support and this good advice, which I will continually refer to and respond to. I am working on a bit of a saga and hope it will be all worth it in the end.



Gratefully



Blockhead


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 09:40 AM

Blockhead, you can use this thread to tell us what you love about the story, the characters, the challenge of bringing them onto the page. That in itself will probably shift the stuck spot.

Learn to LOVE your stuck spots. It's a sign of real, good work happening in the back of your mind-- the story's work or your own personal work. Soon you will be able to see what was stuck, and it will make perfect sense that you were stuck exactly at that spot.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 01:19 PM

Guest, go to a writer's group. I go to one once a month here in town and their focus is not on the critique...but on getting you to write...and it works well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 04:29 PM

Care and feeding of muses...


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM

I have asked this question dozens of times - mostly in songwriting workshops. Answers ranged from "ignore it" to whiskey (from a scotsman). My advice would normally be collaboration - though I am not sure it would work well inyour circumstances.

Randomiser -

Try sticking a pin in a page of a wordy book - like a thesaurus. See what word you have (hopefully a long one) and take the word apart. put it in the centre of a blank sheet of paper Anagram it whole or to subsets of the letters. Write them near the word on one side. Write homophones or near misses on the other side. Rhymes below it. Alliterations above. Sponerisms maybe. Sayings that seem related possibly. Do the same to a few of the anagrams. Now - see if anything take yer fancy.

AND.......

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 05:27 PM

Get an advance on the first five and head for Rio?


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 10:51 PM

the


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 11:09 PM

write what you know

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Writer's block
From: Gervase
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 02:02 PM

Cut and pasted from my notes to journalism students:

• If blocked, follow poet William Stafford's advice: lower your standards. Or heed William Faulkner: "Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but that's the only way you can do anything really good." Writer's Block often comes when the writer has set impossible standards.
• Stop in the middle of a sentence.
• Write down the reasons you're not writing. Define the problems. Devise solutions: more reporting, lower standards, refocus story, new organization.
• Switch writing tools. Turn off the computer, pick up a pad and pen.
• Take a break.

Not foolproof, I know, but it can help.


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