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Welcome to my blog. Here you will find tips that will help you write books and articles that establish you as the expert in your market.
                   --Lee Pound

November 2018
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How to End Writers Block in Fiction and Non-Fiction

In my last post, I talked about the two main causes of writers block. In this post, I will cover why these are problems and how you can resolve them.

Problems with Fictional Characters

All fictional stories are driven by characters. A story that is all plot and no characters bores us because we cannot get inside the people we are living with for the next 300 pages. Even cardboard characters need enough differentiation to make us believe they would take the actions presented in the book.

A writer must know what his characters will do in any given situation. That action is the result of personality, ability, knowledge, physical size, sex, age, strength, and speed.

Most blocking problems with writing fiction arise when the writer places his character in a situation where the character must act or make a decision. When the writer does not know the character well enough to know what the character would do, he cannot write the scene because he cannot decide what to write.

 The writer, unable to start the scene, will complain of writers block, that creativity is on vacation and that he or she can’t see what should come next. That writer is right. You cannot see what should come next not because your mind will not let the information through but because your mind does not contain the information in the first place.

The solution is not to stare at the blank screen asking over and over again for the words to come forth.

The solution is not to do the laundry or walk the dog until the lost creativity returns.

The solution is to open a new file and write an interview with the character or someone who knows the character well. Find out more about the character. Probe his or her inner demons, fears, loves, and hatreds. At the end ask the character what he or she would do in the situation you have created. Go back to the scene you couldn’t write and let the character tell you what he or she did in that situation.

Repeat this procedure each time you hit a block. Soon you will need to ask fewer questions of the character. Eventually the blocking will vanish, replaced by a quick simple question to the character. “Okay, what would you do?” The answer will come instantly because you have trained yourself to expect it.

Problems with Subjects

Non-fiction writing is different in that you cannot invent the information you put into the book. This type of book contains facts, the result of research that you, the author, have presumably conducted. If you have done your work properly, you will know the details you need to include.

When you have not completed your research before you start writing or you choose a subject with which you are not completely familiar, you will find that you cannot write the chapter. This is not a block. This is lack of knowledge. When you complete your research or your thought processes, you will be able to write the chapter.

But, you say, I know the subject, I just can’t think of a good way to start the chapter.

At the beginning of a chapter you write the key statement of the subject matter to be covered in that chapter. If you know what the chapter is about, you can write an opening sentence. If you cannot write that opening sentence, you do not know the content of the chapter well enough.

Apply these techniques and you will find that writers block will disappear.

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