Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Coping with Writer's Block by A.J. Trevors-guest post

How to Get Past Writer’s Block
Writer’s block is a condition that is associated with the inability to think of what to write and how to proceed with writing. For many aspiring authors, this is akin to a debilitating disease, a cancer that can eat away at the quality of your writing. Before you know it, your manuscript is at death’s door and the editors are unable to resuscitate it, shaking their heads in despair.
For writers, the block could arrive at any moment. Some experience it in the middle of their writing, their fingers flying in full flow across the keyboard before it stops jarringly; your brain applying the brakes on the highway of creative thought. It may arrive even before you start writing, that moment when you boot up your computer and your mind just runs a blank as your struggle to complete the first sentence.
Getting past the block is important. In my experience, good ideas come in spurts and I feel that it needs to get on paper somewhere, anywhere, before that spurt peters out into nothingness. A block can be like a dam, a solid, concrete wall that prevents the river of ideas from fully taking shape as a waterfall of words on your manuscript. This detriment of ideas needs to be combated so that the quality of your manuscript, as a whole, improves.
 Here are a few ways I fought against the dreaded writer’s block as I completed by debut novel, The Gaia Chronicles: Birth of Hope:
1.       Express your ideas in bullet points before writing
My first suggestion may seem to be pretty obvious to many writers out there. However, it is a basic skill that is surprisingly not practiced by many writers. To them, they see no value in wasting their time listing down short pointers in the structure of their writing as they reason they might as well write it out instead!
However, I cannot stress enough how important it is to master this fundamental concept. By not writing your ideas down in bullet-point form, you leave yourself at the mercy of short-term memory of your original inspiration that your brain will conceive to forget just moments after you start writing. Always list down what you want to write and communicate to the readers before you start.
If you didn’t and face the block in the middle of your writing, don’t worry! My advice to you is to just stop writing and close your eyes for a few seconds. Then, start listing down the rest of your writing in bullet point form. You will be surprised to note that – it works!

2.       Read books that are similar to your writing style

Since The Gaia Chronicles was a scifi/fantasy novel, I would frequently come across writer’s block as I struggled to describe a desolate world destroyed by war. Description of places wouldn’t flow smoothly on paper and there were adjectives that were wholly inadequate in describing the environment characters had to face in each chapter.

When this occurred, I would take a break and, instead of brainstorming, just taking the time to read the works of other authors. There are many authors that I take inspiration from in terms of writing style. It’s all good to, metaphorically, learn from their feet and understand how they conveyed their ideas that could be similar to the problem you are facing.

Never be ashamed in learning from others. After all, life is short. We might as well learn how to write beautifully and professionally from those that made it before the chance passes us by.

3.        Call your friends out of the blue and talk

I believe that all writers can relate to this next statement. In plain English, writing dialogue sucks. When you have so many characters, with diverse motivations, histories and relationships with other characters mashed together in a 400 page manuscript, you are going to struggle differentiating how each speaks to each other. Each character needs their own nuance, inflections, habits of speech that only they do and helps the reader uniquely identify themselves with the character’s cause and actions.

In The Gaia Chronicles, writing dialogue was doubly hard as there were aliens, monsters and other characters that needed a totally different way of speaking compared to regular humans. As I pieced dialogue together, writer’s block occurred so frequently that I would struggle past a paragraph or two before calling it a day.

However, I found a partial cure to this problem. Whenever the block occurs, I would stop writing and just call a friend. You might ask ‘Why?’. Well, the reasons being is that I have a large selection of friends that come from all backgrounds and hence all have their own way of speaking. By talking to them, I would understand their inflections and habits which help shape the dialogue of a particular character. Friends can also give you support if you divulge your writing difficulties to them, lifting your spirit and renewing your determination to complete writing the dialogue.

4.       Take a break!

More often than not, the reason why you have writer’s block is due to the fact you overworked. You wrote too much, inspiration squeezing your brain dry until it can’t cope any longer. This is where it’s time to take a break and just do something else! Hit the gym, grab a snack or take a power nap. I guarantee that once you finish any of the above activities, you will get back to your computer with renewed determination and write the night away.

This is the end of my guest blog post. My thanks to A.G. Moye for having me as a guest on his awesome blog! My author details are below:

Name: Andy James Trevors
Age: 21
Nationality: Australian
Books: The Gaian Chronicles: Birth of Hope
Stab in the Back (Novella)
                Phae and the Sun Chariot (Novella)

Release Date:    Pre-order Date = 20th of November 2015 - 30th of November 2015
                                Release Date     = 1st of December 2015
                                Prices                    = $2.99 (Pre-order price)
                                                                   $4.99 (Retail Price)
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I was pleased to have this guest post by A.J. Trevors and on November 3, 2015. 
I will post an interview of this Author on this blog, stay tuned and remember, I'm listening, so talk back.  

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