Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Simple Cures for Writer's Block

What is writer's block, anyway? Almost every writer, big or small, has felt it before. It's like a gigantic wall has been put up in your mind, separating you from the part of your brain that stores information about your book, essay, or paper. Words come out jumbled when you write. You keep making typos. You can't think of what will happen next. Nothing's coming together.

Now, everybody's different. My brain probably works differently than yours. These are cures for writer's block that worked for me and will probably work for you --- but I'm not guaranteeing anything. Try these, but feel free to make up your own. It never hurts to attempt. :)

1 --- Take A Break.

This is probably the easiest of them all. Take a week off, or at least a few days. Don't think about the perils your character is facing or will face in the next chapter. Focus on your life, not theirs. Go outside and fiddle around with photography. Draw a picture. Play a game with your sibling, if you have one. Try, especially, to do all of this outside. At least for me, fresh air helps me think --- it clears my head. :) Who knows? Something you see might trigger some creativity and cause it to leak through that giant, uncomfortable wall.

2 --- Try Writing Something New.

Don't write anything pertaining to your story. Don't even worry about having a good plot or even firm characters. Just write, for the fun of it. Write about something completely random --- for instance, write about the clothes in your closet suddenly running off and having an adventure in Fashion Land. Write about your little brother as a prince defending the Candy Princess from the evil Vegetable Monster. Anything and everything.
Sit down and write the opening of a story plot that's been floating in the back of your mind for a while. Don't worry about making a title or even chapters. Just get all the clutter that's blocking your creativity flow out of your head. :)

3 --- Write Opposites.

Write something in a completely different genre than you normally would. Now this --- this is hard. Fantasy is my normal genre, but if I tried writing something like a history textbook, I'd be bored to death. History fiction is okay .... mysteries? Forget it! 
If you can't think of another genre to write in, try twisting your story around. Change your main character's personality drastically. Make her a brat or a pop star. If your story is set in a fantasy land, try writing it set in a busier place, like Manhattan or Los Angeles. Tell your story from the bad guy's perspective. Or tell it from a child's perspective. Just use a different perspective, and make sure you do this on a separate file and not on your actual story. That would be bad. (:

4 --- Don't Be Normal.

Do something totally different than what you normally do.
If you like fantasy (like me) try reading something different: history fiction novel. Mystery book. Even a how-to book. 
Try something you wouldn't normally try: exotic foods, maybe, or listen to different music. I like to listen to my favorite movie soundtracks --- Pirates of the Caribbean, mostly. :) It helps me focus and creates images in my head that normally help me climb over the wall.
Watch something you wouldn't normally watch. A sci-fi movie. A chick flick. A spy blockbuster. Anything out of the ordinary for you to do. :)

I hope this helps with the extremely large, difficult wall called Writer's Block. These are my methods. What are yours? :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Writer's Journey

Hi guys!

An awesome book for writers to read is A Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. A lot of authors have recommended it, and I've read parts of it myself and it is absolutely wonderful. It helps you learn to organize your scenes, firm up your characters, things like that. It seems like it would be a really good book to read for the editing process --- that's why I haven't finished it yet. ;)

Here's a list of upcoming posts. I feel so accomplished :)

  • Simple Cures for Writer's Block
  • Editing Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Tension Management: How to Keep Your Story Going
And that's all. :)

Story Segment: Chased by a Troll

 “Hurry!” Saphira called over her shoulder.

After skidding around several corners, almost bashing her head into a wall, and tripping over Ember, she and everyone else finally made it to the kitchens, where Saphira was already waiting.

“Here.” she thrust a large pouch into Dakota's hands. “Enough provisions for three days. For all of you.”


“As you American Crotori say, 'no problem.' But we need to leave now, or we will have a problem.”

Dakota heard a crash, and a panicked shout that reverberated through the halls.

“They've reached the castle borders!”

“Come on!” Saphira cried, and she took off, her body a blur. “There is a secret passage on the other side of the castle. We can make it if we hurry!”

Dakota stuffed the bulging pouch into her belt with difficulty and ran for her life.
They were almost there when there was another resounding crash, and the wall on Dakota's left caved in.

She instinctively ducked and dove forward, scraping her knees and skidding to a stop near a pedestal with a vase on it. She heard screams and shouts of pain as she lifted herself of the floor. She looked up and gasped in horror.

A troll the size of Dakota's house stood in the dusty hole in the wall. Naked except for a filthy loincloth, the troll's muscles rippled with power as he roared a loud blast that made Dakota feel like her ears would fall off. His scaly skin looked as tough as his two horns that curled from the top of his head, and the sneer he displayed on his ugly, piglike face was more menacing than the club he was swinging threateningly in the air.

What do you think? 

Just to add --- I found this awesome blog called Go Teen Writers, and one of their posts were very helpful, so I wanted to share it with you. Here it is:


And, just so you know, instead of the elves' kingdom being Polarya (which was a little weird, I'll admit it ☺ ) I decided to use another name I made up -- Verra Laagila. (vehr-uh luh-gee-luh), Do you like this better?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Elves' Riddle

Okay. So, this is where I am in my writing: Dakota and her group of people are outside the gates of Polarya, the elven kingdom. (Is the name Polarya a little too weird? It's pronounced Poh-lar-ee-yuh) To get inside, they must solve a riddle. Problem is, I can't think of a riddle! :) Here's the poem that is on the gates:

Many beings seek us out
Believing their motives are wise.
But we, as a people, have many doubts
As to whether they're wanting a prize.

If you, traveling strangers, can solve this next rhyme,
Within the next hour or two,
We'll let you come in and spend here some time,
If not, we will come there for you.

I hope it doesn't sound too cheesy. I mean, the elves are supposed to be these wise, strong creatures that are experts at practically everything relating to arts, you know, writing, music, poetry. I'm not that good at poetry, sooo....

But anyway, the next riddle has to rhyme, according to the first line of the second section. I wish it didn't have to, but I couldn't think of anything else to say for the poem. :)

I'm drawing a blank as to what to say for the riddle, so I'm open to any suggestions, comments, concerns, or your riddles! Remember it has to be wise-sounding. Sort of. Elvish. :)