I use the term ‘Writer’s Block’ very loosely, for I don’t believe it actually exists. I do, however, believe that a writer can get so caught up in their story that progress is deemed impossible.
I, for instance, explore a story over and over again in my head and in flashes of inspiration, manage to scrawl some of the story down. (I don’t use the word ‘scrawl’ loosely.)
Take for example, my second novel. There are many more characters in it than the first book and many new obstacles and issues. Between writing chapters, stopping for days and not reading the manuscript as a whole, I recently found myself in a bit of a rut.
Initially I wanted the manuscript finished in March, but as the deadline approached, I soon realised that it was completely unobtainable. I was growing increasingly frustrated, and frustration is never a good mindset for creating something of vital importance.
It was only during the last week that I had an idea for figuring out my story. My idea is shown in the picture.
By dedicating a single page to each chapter of the book, I have condensed each milestone of the novel, thereby tracking what happens and ensuring every single chapter counts towards the greater plot.
By putting it on the wall, I can physically map the progression I was temporarily lacking, and my creative mind is eased by the simple organisation.
For any writers lacking inspiration or direction with their stories, I recommend giving this method a try. It has certainly worked for me, and I plan to cross-reference my notes with my manuscript as soon as tomorrow. At this rate, it should be finished by early September.
If you’re stuck in the whirlwind of storywriting, plant your feet firmly under your desk, and write about why you’re struggling to continue with the plot; whether it be personal issues, underlying gaps in your story, or like me, not properly tracking what has happened in your story so far.
You have the answers to your ‘block.’ You always do. Identify where the problem stems from, and everything will become crystal clear.
One Writer in a Sea of Millions