Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Breaking Past Writer’s Block

There is only one way to really break that block. Write. Take an active role in getting past whatever is blocking your prose. Instead of sitting in front of the television for the next episode of American Idol try one of these ideas to get wake up your muse.

We all have looked in someone else’s medicine cabinet, so why not your main character?  Write about what they find in there. It could be mundane everyday stuff, something tawdry, or a hidden secret.

It doesn’t have to be a medicine cabinet. He/she can look in a drawer or the glove box in a car. Just open something up and take a long gander at what’s inside. You’ll be quite surprised at what he or another character is keeping stashed away. Somewhere hidden in the back of the junk drawer of your character’s boss’ desk is way back on track with your manuscript.

A lost object is another great way to trick the muse into walking around that block. While searching for lost keys, phone, cigar clipper, or the hamster that escaped his cage you can find all sorts of things to fluff your plot. Use it to explore a bit more of your character’s personality, or, that of another character helping in the search.

All else fails have disaster strike. It’s amazing how much a lightning strike or freak tornado ripping across the front lawn can get the creative juices flowing again.  In real life these things can come out of no where so why not use a cyclone to drop a house on your block.

Open a new doc and pick any character but your hero/heroine. A background character such as the guy in the parking garage, the waitress with the great smile, someone who is mentioned but really isn’t a player in your story.

Now take that person and write a page about them. What where they doing before meeting your MC? Do they have a cat or is she slinging hash until she’s discovered as the next Marilyn Monroe? Once you’ve gotten a few paragraphs or a page you can go back to your WIP, you’ll find your muse is now ready to take off again.

Writer’s block is like a huge wall that falls in front of our muse. Looking up it seems impossible to get over that wall. Put your fingers on the keyboard and write until that wall crumbles.  When it does the sun will shine, the forest animals will surround your desk in song…. Okay not really but you’ll be celebrating with your muse as the story picks up speed again. 

Writing Challenge:  WRITER'S BLOCK
  1. Second Tuesday 2: Words Shy of Daylight - Alberta Ross
  2. 12 & a ½ Ways to Deal with Writer’s’Block - Ruchira Mandal
  3. Second Tuesday - Writer's Block - Patti Larsen
  4. Iain the Cat opines on Writer's Block - Jeannie
  5. Using Writer's Block as an Excuse to not Write - Rebeca Schilller
  6. Writer's Block - Gary Varner
  7. Second Tuesday - Writer's Block and the Tooth Fairy - Annetta Ribken
  8. Writer's Block or Writer's Withdrawal - Eden Baylee
  9. Breaking Past Writer's Block - Elise VanCise

This post is part of a monthly writing challenge known as "Second Tuesday," written by members of the Fellow Writers' Facebook group. Click on any link above to read another "Second Tuesday" post. Enjoy!



  1. Writing about a secondary character is an excellent way to get things moving again.

    Really good suggestions here. :)

    Welcome to Second Tuesday!

  2. From your post (and others') I feel that "Writer's Block" has turned into an opportunity to get to know the characters better as opposed to a disorder that we must all fear. This was a very inspirational post. Thanks much!

  3. Love that all of us Second Tuesdays know the truth--there is NO SUCH THING! Love it. Here's to tornadoes (imaginary ones, that is!)

  4. - and who knows maybe create a character for another story - to star in its own WIP - endless possibilities - I find knowing the characters well even minor ones has helped many times

  5. I really like the imagery of typing until the wall falls down. WIll remember that and use it. Reinforces the "go through the problem" thinking that in the long run provides for a more permanent solution! Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Such a lovely post! Love the imagery of forest animals surrounding my desk in song…makes me feel like Snow White.

  7. Good tips. Going off to type type type.


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