This week, the good people over at YA Highway are asking the question
What do you do about writers block?
I fear that you will start hating me if I answer honestly, but I’ve got to say, “I don’t get it.”
Okay, okay, okay, please don’t hate me. Here is the truth, I know my characters. My writing is totally character based, and I’m usually on like the 2nd or 3rd draft before I even have a plot. Seriously, the number one comment that I get from my beta readers is “What’s this supposed to be about? I love it and all, but seriously, there is no plot, at all.”
So I write about characters, not about plot. And I’m at total pantser. I’ve tried outlining a few times, and really, I just can’t do it. I just get to know a character and then write about them, and make up new situations to put them in, and in the end hope it turns into a novel.
Here is the other thing. I never force my writing. When I do, the stuff I write is really bad. So there’s no point. This means, if I don’t have a character screaming in my head, I don’t write anything down. And when I do have a character screaming in my head, they’re usually so fricken loud I have no choice but to type like crazy until the shut up already. I write fast, and messy, and I don’t get writers block. I just go for several months between project while I’m thinking about future characters and waiting for a new voice to knock me sideways.
I do have one little strategy that I like to use while drafting though. I like to pretend like I’m my character. Since I’m such a pantser, I start writing as soon as I have a clear sense of my characters voice. But I rarely know what I’m going to make them do. So it’s important for me to spend every waking minute thinking about what that character would do in as many situations as possible (then I write down the interesting ones). To accomplish this goal, I roll play and act like my character while out and about. I’m not at the grocery store picking up food for dinner, my character is at the grocery store. Thinking about my characters in normal everyday settings when I’m not actively writing often gives me extra fuel to break through the writer’s block when I’m back in front of my computer.
What about you? How do you break the writer’s block?