How to Conquer Writer’s Block

We all get stuck writing at one time or another. And it often returns to haunt us. So I made up a short list of things one can do in effort to get over this wall.

1. Switch up your medium. If your primary source is banging out words on the computer, move to pencil and paper. Preferably a notebook of some kind to keep it all neat and orderly. Or try a tape recorder. Smart phones have one built right in. Transcribe during your next session at the keyboard.

2. Change the font size and font face of your document. Having a new visual perspective can fool your brain into a reboot of sorts. It may also help with screen fatigue.

3. Reboot yourself. Leave the computer and go for a walk or putter around the house doing chores. It can really help to clear your head if you’re focusing on another task.

4. Explosions and kicking in the door. Another think to break the hold of writer’s block is to stir things up by having someone knock at the door or kick it in. Explosions or space ship crashes can do that as well. You don’t need to keep said scenes in your book if you don’t want to, but this exercise provides the chance to view your characters and scenes from a different angle.

5. Music or complete silence. Be it character theme songs or your old favorites. Listen to the beats, the themes, and the melodies to create the moods you’re searching for.  Some writers also need just quiet. And sometimes silence works best, depending upon one’s mood. 

5 ½.  Ambient stations can help you focus.  The internet is full of them. Free ones, and paid subscriptions. Check out my detailed blog post of them here.

6. Talk it out. If you don’t have support at home, turn to the internet. Find other writers who will support you and who are interested in your work. Sign up for Skype or use Facebook messenger. Yahoo messenger if they’re still around. Anything that will provide an instant conversation to examine what your blocks are.

6 ½. Find a moment and just close your eyes. Turn your thoughts inward. Hash it out with the characters who are giving you the big middle finger. What do they want? Listen to what they’re telling you. If they’re still giving you the cold shoulder, start offering them goodies to see what peaks their interest. Pancakes? A phone call? A new car? A date? A much needed vacation? Sometimes bribes work wonders. Just be certain to follow through with those bribes because if you don’t, they…will…remember and may cause more trouble for you in the future.

7.  When you do start writing, consider stopping right smack dab in the middle of a sentence or even character dialog.  That can provide the momentum needed to launch yourself in your next writing session. 

8. Know your ending and where you’re going in the story. If you’re a pantser, toy with writing a short synopsis or a “lead in” of sorts.  

9. Lastly, here’s a super simple one. Clean up your work space and dust off your keyboard. Physical clutter instills mental clutter and that can cause a frustration you’re not even aware of. A neat space often translates into a calm and focused mind which means more words! Now get out and write.

Introducing Infinity 8: an urban fantasy soap opera series

CalicoPortraitI’m implementing changes and other edits on Infinity 8. It’s a fun urban fantasy soap opera with lgbtq characters. And tons of family drama.

Last night I polished 239 pages. (Whew!!) and have 109 pages left. Beta reads are just around the corner! Now to pick a date for professional editing as well.

The story of Infinity 8 is about Calico Winghorse and the inter-dimensional portal he constructed as a small child. Calico is a mongrel demon wizard triplet from another realm. He is also the God of Space and Time.

This particular series is really titled The New Infinity 8, as there are plans to take Calico back to his younger days. That series will have a prefix of The Original Infinity 8. To learn more, stay tuned!

Writers, Get Organized For the New Year With A Calendar

So it’s nearly 2017, and a clean slate to organize ourselves is on the horizon.

2017calendar
Bask in how pristine my new calendar currently is. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Writers, now is the time to start planning if you haven’t considered doing so before. Not only might it increase your workflow, imagine how good it will feel when you can see all the progress you’ve made?

For me, I work best with the paper medium to keep track, but there’s all sorts of ways you can do it. There are online calendars, and online ones you can print out.

For starters, check out Google’s Calendar. Quick and easy, especially since most people already have a gmail account.  If not, the link will take you to a page to create an account. The ‘create account’ link is below the log in box.

If you want to start right now with a print out, don’t want to use Google, and don’t want to waste time shopping, check out Calendar Labs, and the printable templates.

Now go forth, write and plan!

 

I proudly ditched NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-180I wasn’t proud at first, but I realized this year wasn’t going to work, and I ended the challenge. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month.  It is a challenge that encourages people to write 50,000 words in one month. This year, I didn’t feel it.

November 2016 was supposed to be the writing debut for book two of my dark fantasy trilogy called Elemental Rain.

But even before I started writing, before November even rolled around, there were all sorts of road blocks on this manuscript. Especially where the story was actually going. As the month hit the teens, I was struggling for more of the 24K I already had.

That was when I realized I was just writing in attempt to beat the challenge. And for me, that’s not how to write a novel. Reviewing some of the material I’d already written, I see I was leading one of my main support characters along a very dark path. And I wasn’t sure if it was right for him to be there (because I already have the last chapter of book 3 written) and it wasn’t adding up.

On top of that I had my hands full with two other novels–one in the editing stage, and another inbetween those two stages. And that’s when I realized I was spreading myself too thin. I should be worrying about the other projects that are closer to being finished.

So book two of that Elemental Rain trilogy won’t see a revival until at least March 2017. But I am looking forward to the next NaNoWriMo, and hopefully my schedule will be open for it.

Has anyone else abandoned the challenge, either this year, or in the past?

 

 

Hammering Out a Second Edition part 10

Chapter 33 is a most excellent place to pause in my edits, given my obsession with threes. (Calico, my well-mannered demon wizard who-can’t-let-go-of-the-Victorian-era is still sitting over there in the corner, pouting, wondering when I’ll finally get back to his urban fantasy.)

My goal is to finish this first revision round of Pony’s Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs by the end of June. With 124 pages and 14 days left, I’m nearly there. Then what I’m going to do is run through all my feedback, and make any necessary changes. After that, a read through for flow and clarity. I’m aiming toward a goal of one month for each rework. So by the end of August. And then to my editor the first of October.

As noted in the part 9 blog post, I feel I’m still having issues with Konstantine’s character. He’s still too mentally put-together, and I’m having a difficult time unraveling him to make him more disjointed and chaotic. I may have to go back after that read through to adjust his characterization.

That’s the danger for any writer–not trusting in their characters to know when not to mess with them. It’s really a fine line, and the writer must have the experience and belief in their own work to see that.

So onward!