Jannie Balliett

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For the newer writer...Writers Block ( A humorous View)

I thought I'd share a few of my own personal methods that I've used to overcome the big Writers Block brick wall that we've all run into. That blank piece of paper or blank monitor that blinks back at us waiting to come alive with our words. Other writers I personally know, also have used these methods with success.

If you are in the middle of writing fiction, whether it's a story or novel, go back and re-read everything you've written from a reader's viewpoint. I like to call  that, "removing my writer's glasses and putting on my reader's glasses."

That generally gives a fresh perspective of what you were originally trying to accomplish when you began writing it in the first place.

If you didn't get a new outlook, leave it for a few days or longer to clear your mind. Work on another project then re-read it again. Take notes of newly spawned ideas and any corrections you might want to make that you've noticed.

The corrections might be simple typos or punctuation errors, or even better, something you need to add or cut to improve the story. Sometimes just changing a word or two does it.

It helps to clear your mind with other activities, even if it's as routine as cleaning house or washing the car. When the mind is on something else and clear of the problem of writer's block: not being able to pick up where left off, or a character that isn't evolving, the story or book, becomes more clear. The character you were stuck on suddenly has the traits you needed to become that certain personality you originally wanted him to be, the ending of that chapter became sharp to you because you got an idea for the next chapter that helped you to close that previous one which had caused problems.

Other things completely unrelated to our characters, story, and plot, can trigger old forgotten ideas and birth brand new ones.

One quirk that I personally have for solving problems, is my sleeping mind. I dream the solution, although I don't always remember any particular dream, (we dream all during the night with no memory recall of those dreams) I wake up knowing the answer to the problem. It's like a hand slapping a forehead. Of course, there aren't any sure methods to spark that 'all-problem-solving' dream, but it's said that thinking about something just before you go to sleep helps stimulate the mind's subconscious and causes a dream about it.

Maybe the answers will come to you too.

If your writer's block is about a character, lets say he's not evolving or relating to another character, no chemistry or no personality conflict between that good guy and bad guy, then consider {insert drum roll here} astrology. Yes, you read that right-- astrology.

You don't believe in astrology?

No problem, that doesn't matter. However, what does matter is that others do. And who are the others, you ask? Your readers. (do you know that four, or more, out of ten people, believe in astrology? Some of those four readers, maybe one, might not openly admit it but they know they believe. Those are the same people that read their horoscopes everyday but don't tell anyone.)

RPG games (roll playing games) such as the Sims and similar games, use astrology for their characters. A critical Virgo sun sign will not get along well with an aloft Aquarian. (please-- no shooting allowed by any Virgos and Aquarians) so they might make good adversaries.

Some corporations use personality tests for guidelines of hiring new employees. Those tests are used to find out your characteristics and delve into who you truly are underneath that cool exterior. It's basically an astrology-based test. (some corporations add a "handwriting analysis" to that same test or use it alone.)

If you don't know a Virgo from an Aquarian, then use the Internet to get a brief crash course online. "Astrology sun signs" would be a good search description. Look for compatible signs and incompatible signs. Incompatible signs are usually  listed with each sun sign along with all compatible sun signs if you look for

Now that you know who is who and their differences, give your characters those personality traits.

A Virgo is critical of everything. (okay, I should know, my mother, my first husband, and best friend, are Virgos.) A Virgo is a perfectionist and generous (you happy now?) but quick to judge, not very decisive, is either a cynic or views everything through rose-colored glasses. A Virgo is... uh, I'll leave it and go on to
the Aquarian, (my son is one, okay?) who is aloft, easy-going and laid back, thinks futuristic, to the point of "it ain't gonna happen no matter what you think, so I'll do it my way" and believes there's a short-cut to everything in life being a bit of a know-it-all. However, they are very good counselors.

So, you can certainly imagine those two not getting along well. Put them in a room together and let 'em at each other. (Same goes for signs that are compatible;   they fall in love and make good lovers, admire one another, are best friends, and work well together, etc.)

Stalled Chapter
In the middle of a chapter and don't know where to go or how to end it? To end it, think about what's in imaginary following chapters-- where do you want the story to go and what do you plan? That can help you 'guide' the chapter in that direction, or skip that chapter completely for the time being. Set it aside and
begin writing another chapter(s). (who cares what chapter number it is at this point? It won't end up a chapter anyway... it'll get merged)

You might keep writing to the point that you've forgotten you have an incomplete chapter four chapters back. Look at what you wrote. Read it and you'll see what you need in order to end that incomplete chapter that was abandoned. Now it's all meshed together.

The beginning and end is the easiest part of writing a story and book. It's all that's written in between those two points that is hard. You must keep your reader's interest with the conflicts and resolutions, let alone, evolve the characters and guide them to the conclusion in a dramatic and climatic ending.

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"In every talented person with a small desire to write-- hides a truly gifted writer, once armed with a little knowledge and good editing."
   Copyright © 2015  Jannie Balliett.  Division of Balliett Enterprise.  All Rights Reserved.