I don't believe in Writer's Block. I believe writers simply get stuck when they’re writing. There are many reasons why this happens. At Writers Write, we always encourage writers to plot their book before they start writing. You need to know where you’re going before you begin.
I have also interviewed more than 100 authors. Most of these writers have a plan, they have a writing routine, they are open to learning, and they know how their book is going to end. They don’t believe in waiting for the muse. They believe in hard work.
These are the most common reasons why writers stop writing.
10 things writers struggle with when writing a book
- They avoid writing uncomfortable or difficult scenes.
- They can’t get beyond the synopsis.
- They can’t seem to finish anything.
- They don’t know how to start the book, the next scene, the next chapter.
- They enrol for new courses but they take the same old ideas with them.
- They haven’t written a synopsis.
- They keep on repeating what they’ve already written.
- They talk about writing but never start.
- They write their characters into corners.
- They write, edit, rewrite, and edit the same scene instead of moving on.
Once we identify these problems, I am able to help my students.
Here are 10 simple ways to solve these problems
- Change the sex of your protagonist or antagonist.
- Change viewpoints if you’re stuck. Write it from another character’s perspective. Try writing in a different viewpoint. Write in first person if you always write in third person.
- Commit to the writing life. Writers write.
- Enrol in a writing class. Leave your old, tired ideas at home.
- Make to do lists for your character. Or send your character shopping for a character he hates.
- Play the what if? game for your character. Rewind and get the story back to a point where your character can move on with the action.
- Promise yourself a meaningful reward when you finish.
- Stop editing. Carry on writing. You can fix the draft later. You’re looking at a minimum of eight rewrites anyway - plenty of time for editing.
- Use a timer for the scenes you find difficult to write. Just do it.
- Write a synopsis. Set up a daily writing routine. Set aside a minimum amount of time or commit to writing a number of words.
If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.
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