As anyone who has participated in National Novel Writing Month knows, starting a novel is great. It’s easy. You have ideas. There are no roadblocks or issues with your characters, your plotting or your continuity. But a few pages in or maybe thirty or more and it hits. You’re stuck. You’re overcome with writer’s block. There are a few things you can do to keep on writing and get past the roadblock:
1. Skip over the trouble spot and move to another, less difficult passage.
2. Add a new character to stir things up.
3. Kill off a character to stir things up.
4. If you can’t kill a character, put your main character in danger and see what happens. Jeopardizing a treasured character is a great way to shake up your writing.
5. Power through the rough spot.
6. Change perspectives: split your group into two and send them separate ways or simply take a different perspective on the situation, from the vantage point of another character or another locale.
7. The Nike treatment: just do it. Seriously, sometimes you just have to muscle through it. Remember you’re not writing a final version – it’s a first draft. So this part will need a lot of help later; that’s OK.
One of the things I do in novel writing to avoid writer’s block is to stop writing at a point where I have a good idea of what happens next. That way, when I come back to my writing, I can start right in.
There you are, a few good ideas that actually work to overcome writer’s block. Let me know which ones work for you or what other tricks you use.