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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WHEN THE WORDS WON'T COME



Are you there?  Wanting to write, 
but not being able to put one word after another?


FOCUS

Do you have a clear idea of what is going on in your scene and where it is going 

and how it advances your story in the direction you want?

Perhaps you lost that focus in thinking of that great scene you're going to write 3 scenes from now.  

Go back a page to see if you lost your footing there.


CHANNEL

Pretend you are your protagonist and explaining to a stranger what is going on in this scene and why it is so important.  

If you discover it is not that earth-shaking, does it even need to be in your novel?

Pretend you are your antagonist and fuming or bragging to an associate about what is going on and why it angers or delights you.


NEVER RACE WHEN YOUR CAR'S BATTERY IS LOW


Write at your peak energy time whenever that time is.   

If morning is your time, better one page written then than trying to squeeze prose from a drained muse.  

Late hours your time to howl?  Squirrel yourself away from phone, TV, and email -- and WRITE!


PICK A LETTER

At random pick a letter and 

then in the next 60 seconds write as many words starting with that letter as you can.  

It starts you focusing and putting words on paper.


CLICHE MUCH?

In 120 seconds time write as many cliches as occur to you.  

Then, in the next 2 minutes re-state each cliche in as original a way as you can.  

You will amuse yourself and free up your muse.


RADIO ANNOUNCE

Go out to your backyard or look out your front window.  

Describe to an imaginary listening audience what you see in the most entertaining way.  

Does that cloud look like Miley atop her wrecking ball, but better looking?

Set a timer for 10 minutes and describe away, going for the heart or the laugh.  

That lame squirrel trying to pick up a walnut.  The puppy seemingly unaware its elusive quarry is its own tail.

Go for the exact color of the grass, the elusive quality to the robin's song.  The almost velvet feel to the spring breeze.


MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU?

Conjure up a strong memory from your storehouse.  Then, write a sentence each of every sense you can remember from that time.

Listen to Mark Twain remembering Hawaii:

"For me its balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surf is in my ear;

I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud-rack;

I can feel the spirit of its woody solitudes, I hear the splashing of the brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago."



Weren't you there for a moment? Didn't you catch, not just the physical touch of the islands, but the spiritual one as well?



Listen to McCord speaking of Amsterdam from BURNT OFFERINGS:

 
"For the thing that I had become, Amsterdam was a wild mix of scents and sounds:

the tolling church bells that played snatches of hymns or Beethoven to mark the dying of the hour;

the smell of vanilla drifting off the stack of waffles as I walked by the cafes; barrel organs pumping happily off in the distance;

hearing a gaggle of laughing girls singing around a piano as I strolled by a bordello;

watching a lone professor on a park bench, closing his eyes, as he listened to the music of Sweelinck on a 17th century organ in the Oude Kerk.

But the lawman in me found other more disturbing sensations: the wave of cloyingly sweet cannabis that hit me as soon as I stepped off the train into the station;

the mewing of the drug addicts who had stumbled my way, begging for the price of just one more fix;

the fine smell of aged vomit rising from off the cobblestones as I had made my way along desperate prostitutes, past their prime,

but with no other way to make a living on the street of Stormsteeg;

the silent hollow-eyed girls staring at me from the windows on Molensteeg,

awkwardly bumping and grinding in an attempt to lure me in and keep their pimps from beating the hell out of them for poor sales.

After all, waterfront property costs to keep."




ABOVE ALL SIT DOWN AND WRITE EVEN 
IF IT BUT ONE SENTENCE.

I hope this has helped in some small way.



6 comments:

  1. Pick a letter. I like that idea.
    My best writing time is in the evening after I've practiced my guitar.

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  2. I like the comment about clichés and rewriting them. I've done that many times. I enjoyed this refresher on getting the writing engine running again.

    My problem isn't lack of fuel, but rather, lack of time. I'm writing in spare moments, when I usually write scenes, and for me, the scene gets me into the writing better than anything else.

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  3. Alex:
    Of course, you are relaxed and feeling creative. :-)

    D.G.:
    Brick by brick a wall is made; scene by scene a novel is crafted, right?

    Both fuel and time are my enemies right now. Wolf Howl is patient however. :-)

    I pray your husband is doing much better and your daughter, too. Pace yourself and give yourself some time to re-charge!

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  4. Those are great tips. I never have writer's block because I'm always ready to yak about something.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Janie:
    I wish I could say the same! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Roland - I too like the Letter idea - great for vocabulary building and other types too .. science, geography etc etc ...

    I have overload of ideas - and thus time is a challenge ...

    Really interesting ideas here .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete