How do you fight writer's block?

Bara_no_Hime

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Sep 15, 2010
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Johnny Novgorod said:
Just wondering. I have to right practically an entire screenplay for tomorrow when I had the whole Summer (yes it's Summer here) to do it. I'm not asking anyone to bail me out with a magic trick but hey, this is my go-to place when I'm blocked. How do you get over writer's block?
And old trick I use sometimes is to reread an old favorite book. Something you can read quickly (because you know it so well) and that puts you in the right mindset to write.

In your case, since you're working on a screenplay, perhaps a favorite screenplay would help?

Another tip - find an alternative space. I was having problems working on my writing (prose fiction) at home, so recently I've been going out to a local hole-in-the-wall coffee house with my laptop, buying a mocha, and spending four to five hours just writing. In that case, I found it easier to begin with something small (a new short story) before moving on to something larger (a novel).
 
Mar 30, 2010
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I pose my plot line to a friend and ask how they would carry it forward. Hearing their response I then pick holes in their plot and ask myself "How would I do it differently?" It seems really simple but it works a treat.

*Disclaimer* I am not a writer, just a guy that fills in for our group DM on occasion.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Sep 6, 2009
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Write backwards. Write how you want the whole thing to turn out, then write in reverse order how it came to be.
 

norashepard

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I find that when I have writers block, the thing that helps most is to write something else. Like, it can just be a stupid story, or a rant, or even just a dialogue between made up people, but because there's no pressure on it, you start writing quicker, and then it becomes easier to jump back over to your other piece.
 

Rylingo

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Aug 13, 2008
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Try writing a later scene that you are excited about and then comeback again. It should feel a little fresher.
 

Roxor

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I find writing out-of-order can help. When you get stuck on one section of the story, jump to another one you do have ideas for and work on that. Keeping all your scenes in chronological order within the one text file also helps with making this work.
 

That's Funny

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Jul 20, 2009
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Writing Screenplays can be difficult, especially when you're committed to an idea that just doesn't seem good anymore. You have it to suck it up, write it out and see whether it's bad or not.

My solution to writing scripts is to write out the story beats first. Dialogue always comes second to a story, so it is not important to think up dialogue on the fly. And by beats, I don't just mean beginning, middle and end, I mean everything that happens in between. Think of the three act structure. In the first act our main characters are established, their motivations are laid out before us and their world is set up for us. The second act is the meat of the story, something must cause our hero to take action, e.g. Luke going with Obi-Wan in Star Wars after his aunt & uncle are killed. The second act is where you get have fun with your idea, showing off everything that it has to offer. By the end of the Second act, our hero is at their lowest point (again Star Wars does this really well), and they need to change for the story to continue. In the third act, everything will come full circle, our character will have changed into a completely new person, and whatever troubles they have are vanquished (or not in some cases), the story will then end, tying up any loose threads, and perhaps making more.

Point is, when you approach any written work, you need to know how it will flow, and where it will end up. Otherwise you'll just be stuck.

Hope this helps, screenplays can be a ***** to write sometimes.
 

BeerTent

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May 8, 2011
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Go for a walk, go to work, or take a nap. Those seem to be my fixes. This may also help, OP. It helped me a little.

http://io9.com/5844988/the-10-types-of-writers-block-and-how-to-overcome-them
 

Angie7F

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Nov 11, 2011
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I would go out and take my mind off of writing.
Either that or I stake it out and wait for a runner's high kind of state.
I love it when i get to that state. LOL
 

Johnny Novgorod

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BeerTent said:
Go for a walk, go to work, or take a nap. Those seem to be my fixes. This may also help, OP. It helped me a little.

http://io9.com/5844988/the-10-types-of-writers-block-and-how-to-overcome-them
Thank you (and everybody). I managed to come up with the goods simply by not sleeping for a couple of nights. And now I'm off to bed.
 

n00beffect

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Just push through it, I guess. I mean, I dunno, I've never really gotten such a 'textbook' kind of, severe case of writer's block where I am completely blank in terms of ideas.

I guess, what I usually do when I run a bit dry for material, is I just sit and imagine, and if something happens to pop into my mind I immediately write it down. Sometimes I even blatantly borrow ideas from situations in my life, or other people's lives.

But yeah, either push through it, or just sit down and really compose your thoughts and ideas, I'm sure you'll find something that you'll really like and you'll build from there.

Alternatively, take a concept, an idea, or a theme and try and explore it from different viewpoints. Mash themes together and see what happens, juxtapose, etc. I don't know, hope that helps.
 

Idlemessiah

Zombie Steve Irwin
Feb 22, 2009
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It sucks that you have to get it done for tomorrow. But I'd say, go for a walk. It's summer where you are so heck, go for a run, get the oxygen pumped to your brain.
 

Da_Schwartz

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Oddly enough my best story ideas always come to me either in the shower or on the toilet. No idea why...just happens that way and for me that works.
 

Happiness Assassin

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Oct 11, 2012
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Try to take a break for awhile. Watch a movie, go for a walk, read a book, just do something that can help you clear your head and get your mind off writing. If that doesn't work try listening to music while writing. After all you can't force the creative process.
 

Buffoon1980

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Mar 9, 2013
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I don't get writer's block, I get writer's dear-god-I'm-a-lazy-talentless-bastard-might-as-well-not-bother.

My advice would be just to sit down at your PC (or whatever) and spend a few minutes typing the first thing that comes into your head.
 

Starik20X6

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Oct 28, 2009
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With these: [http://www.storycubes.com]


Just roll the dice, and let what turns up inspire your story. Works well for me. There's also an App version if you can't find or can't be bothered finding a physical version.
 

Alssadar

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Sep 19, 2010
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I can't offer that good advice, as I haven't written anything for a year. It's all about momentum, really. Once you get started, and are in the right mood, things just flow out in a continuous stream. That's how I got my 100 pages in Script Frenzy, and 20949 words my first NaNoWriMo. Block yourself off, and go at it.
Take last year's NaNoWriMo: On the fourth day, I managed 1000 words in one night. And then I never touched it again.
I was never able to continue the air, as well as the fact that I was often busy with band and other things that I couldn't recover.

Here's a motto I found a while ago, and, although it's not applying now, it might eventually inspire me later: "Every day you delay writing your novel is another day you are inferior to Stephanie Meyer."
 

Spinozaad

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Jun 16, 2008
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Keep writing.

I don't write prose, I write academic papers, so my tip might not work; but here's what I do:

I'm stuck on an argument? I write a paragraph in which I try to dismiss my own reasoning/arguments. This forces you to think critically and outside your frame of thought.

And if this fails, ninja's suddenly sink the Graf Spee.