Posts Tagged With: inspiration

Sometimes, you just got to do it.

Let’s face it. We’ve all had those times where we’ve sat down at our computer or notebook and we know what to write but we just can’t do it. So how do we overcome this nasty, frustrating form of writer’s block?

My biggest tip for this is to simply write the scene or whatever down. Don’t worry if it sucks or if it doesn’t read as good as it sounded in your head. That’s why you can revise until its perfect. You don’t have to get it right the first time, you can improve it.

Something else you could try is to plot out the scene or whatever you’re trying to write down. If its simply one line or a couple, this won’t really work, but for scenes and chapters this is a good idea. Especially if you know the general direction, but you’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen. Some people can’t have general things, they have to have specific ideas.

For the most part, it isn’t a lack of inspiration that’s got you, its a lack of will. If you’re having trouble actually writing down a scene or chapter, consider if the story is boring you or if its just this scene that you don’t like. If you’re constantly thinking about something else you could be doing, its probably a good idea to sit back and think it over.

Is there a different way to rewrite this scene to make it more interesting? Or is there another scene that you really want to write (if so, write it!)? Maybe you just need a break. Something doing something else for a while helps. I find pictures can be very inspiring or even trying to flesh out other parts of my stories can help me get excited and focused again.

So, what are your tips for overcoming this problem?

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100 Inspirations

Those of you who know me, or have possibly read some of my past posts (the L in the ABCs), know that I love lists. Like Caitlin pointed out earlier in the week, they are great for compartmentalizing, categorizing and organizing things. These “things” can have to do with writing authors read, their stories, characters, settings, the lists can go on and on (horribly pun intended). But every now and then we writers get in a funk and need to be reminded why we write or what inspires us. The list below is one I’ve had laying around for awhile now, and Caitlin’s post reminded me how important it is. So I dusted it off and took a look at it again. Now I am sharing it with all of you. Make a list of your own and look at it, post it a bulletin board,  in a journal, on a folded piece of paper you carry around in your wallet, anywhere. Let it inspire you, especially on days you need it most.

 

Beginnings. Endings. Middles. Broken hearts. Starry nights. The warm sunshine. You. Me. Them. Us. iPods on shuffle. The breeze through my hair. Nostalgia. Playground equipment. Thunder storms. Sunsets. Love on the mend. Family, and everything that falls in between. Late night chats that spill into mornings. Clichés. Dreams. Shooting stars. Silence. Bubbles. Quotes. Walking contradictions. Oxymorons, sometimes just morons too. Art. Friends. Strangers. Acquaintances. Aimless wandering. Gerber daisies. Joy rides. Singalongs to the radio. Power outages. Photographs. Acapella. Strobe lights. Polka-dots. Plaid. Nights out. Nights in. Books. Tea. Caterpillars. Letters. Lines. Memories. Skeptics. Rearview mirrors. Smiles. Laughter. Breakfast. Cities. Green, grassy fields. Klutzes. Road trips. Believers. Adjectives. Lyrics, stuck in my head. Flash forwards. Flashbacks. Scene checks. Alliteration. Raindrops. Dimples. Befriending. Fireflies. Twisted sheets. Imaginative imagery. Teaching. Feedback. Dialogue. Sarcasm. Climbing trees. Snow angels. Talented individuals. Old souls. New pens. Journals. Baked goods. Candle lit tributes. Pop culture. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Wonderlands. Never ending questions. Red lights. The mundane. The unique. Crunchy leaves. Blood. Sweat. Tears. Love…Life.

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Reading About Writing

We all love books, reading and writing them. But what about reading books about writing? There are tons of them out there. These are some of my favorite books that help hone author’s writing skills: stylistically, mechanically, inspirationally and creatively. Many are written by well-known novelists or others respected in the writing field.

1. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Steven King
2. Eats, Shoots and Leaves: A Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
3. The 101 Most Influential People that Never Lived: How Characters of Fiction, Myth, Legends, Television, and Movies Have Shaped Our Society, Changed Our Behavior, and Set the Course of History by Allan Lazar, Jeremy Salter, Dan Karlan
4. Language Matters: A Guide to Everyday Questions about Language by Donna Jo Napoli
5. Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by Gail Carson Levine
6. Take Joy: The Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft by Jane Yolen
7. Elements of Style by E.B White and William Strunk Jr.
8. How to Write Poetry by Paul B. Janeczko
9. Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques by Elizabeth Lyon
10. How NOT to Write a Novel by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman
What are some of your favorites? What have you found particularly helpful?
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