Thursday, June 12, 2014

Beating Writer's Block by Cherie Colyer

Writer’s block: the inability to write another word. 

If you’re a writer, you know the feeling. You’re working on a project, ideas are flowing, glorious words are filling the page, and then BAM. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

It’s an awful feeling.

But, come on! Writers are making this stuff up as they go. How hard can it be?

Let me tell you, it’s not easy.

Writer’s block is something all writers experience. We hit a point in our project where we stare at our computer screens or a blank sheet of paper unable to figure out what to write next. It can be quite frustrating.

I shared 9 Ways to Conquer Writer’s Block on my blog before, so instead of reposting the same information here, I figured I’d talk about what you can do if you hit a road block in your story. This happened to me recently with my current work-in-progress. No matter how I revised the first few chapters, the story didn’t work. This novel is told in two point-of-views, and I realized that I needed to change one of the players. I tried weaving him into what I had written, but the more I revised the more frustrated I became. It wasn’t working. The characters as I had them weren’t working.

Thing is, I believe in the story and I believed in the characters. I knew I was missing something important. So I visited my post on conquering writer’s block. I mapped out different options. Spent time with my characters. Discovered their passions. Their fears. The obstacles they would face. I then did what I was fighting before. I tossed out what I had and started fresh. (a.k.a. tried a different approach.)

A complete rewrite is what this story needed. The characters are stronger for it, and so is the plot. I discover my writer’s block was really just a need to rewrite the story. It allowed my characters the freedom they needed to come alive.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s necessary to scrap everything and start over each time writer’s block strikes. And sometimes you just need to rewrite a scene or even a few pages to get your creative juices flowing again. One thing's for sure, you’re story will be better for it.

Have you ever scrapped what you had written and started fresh? Do you prefer to revise or rewrite?


  1. Love it! And the Supernatural gifs. I quoted the prophet guy quite a lot after that episode!

  2. It's comforting to know (even though it sucks) that other authors have to scratch and claw their way to a better story. Thanks for the affirmation!

    1. It's always nice to know we're in good company.