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message 1: by Hey_jude (new)

Hey_jude | 162 comments Mod
Hi everyone.

Okay, here is my first post for today and I think we should start out with a quote. Something inspirational to help us all get into our brainstorming modes. Here's one I stumbled upon the other day.

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamouring to become visible."
~ Vladimir Nabakov.

This quote is perfect for the topic I have I mind.  I was thinking we'd discuss the dreaded 'writer's block." You know the enigma I speak about...the opposite of inspiration, that seemingly out of grasp Idea you can't reach, no matter how long you strain to think it all through, or the hours of dead stillness, staring at the computer screen, the doubt piling up and up and you're done believing in yourself, in your story. You're ready to pack it in, shove the piles of drivel into a box under you bed with the mothballs, never to write again. 

Believe me I've been there and it's no picnic.

The most annoying thing and most despairing is longing for the story in front of you to speak  but it stays silent. In this silence, you ask yourself? Is it me? What am I doing wrong? How could I ever believe I was cut out to become a writer, much less an author? This self doubt is getting you nowhere, if anything it's keeping the creative juices at a standstill.

Below I've listed some great exercises on how to get yourself out of the writer's block rut, or even just the 'creative' rut. Cause when it all comes down to it, writing is no easy thing. It consists of dedication,( the ability to live as a hermit for months, years without any social contact except for the can of fine blend) tears, heartbreak, and of course, the occasional meltdown.

But in the end, we all want the same thing. To prove to ourselves we can do it, and nothing's worse than falling in the middle of the whole writing process and not having the strength or courage to pick ourselves up.

And writer's are probably the worse critics on earth. We can't help doubting ourselves, doubting our stories when really we should be using this time of self pity and dejection, to dig our way out and find the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, it's hard and it will take some extreme digging, depending on how far you've fallen. But never to fear, you can do this, you're a writer after all, and you can live with the knowledge that tons of bestselling authors are experiencing the same thing.

So there must be a remedy right? And I don't mean a magic word or a pill you can take to get this book done. 

First, take time to really look over your story, your idea, your characters and make a list of everything you like about your story. If you can't make a list of more than seven things, you may have to change your story around or decide how strongly this story actually appeals to you. Remember if you aren't caring about your story, no on else will and how can you expect them to?

After you've made your list, look over it and list from top to bottom, how strongly you feel about each element in your story. Perhaps you love the love triangle between the two brothers and the neighbourhood girl next door, if that's the case, put it as 1, then move up from there, organizing the elements in how strongly you feel about them.

Next, reenergize things by twisting your story around, ask yourself the questions...What would this story be like, if I put it on mars, or fifty years into the future, or fifty years into the past? You may not follow any of these leads, but you'd be surprised what gems you can get out of asking yourself questions like this. It's all about firing up you creative powers. 
What would the story be like, if you told it from the prospective of the drunken mother, instead of the victimized daughter? Or if you told it in third person instead of first, or even second person? This own exercise has helped me numerous times in writing. Often when a story is floundering, these are the type of questions we must ask. At the beginning it may have seemed like a great idea to have the main character tell her own story, but on later reflection, you may discover that you need to take a step back and see if the idea could be better told from another character's perspective. 

Often, if a story is going nowhere, we instantly sum it up to failure, a lack of will, or perhaps just terrible plotting, but before you totally ditch an idea, especially one you care about, realize that it may not be just writing. If you've plotted your idea correctly and really breathed life into your characters, then your story should speak to you. If you're going nowhere, stuck between terrible and horrible, remember, often this may be the way of your story and character's nudging you to take a step back and really look at your writing. Put yourself if the shoes of the reader or get someone you trust to check over the prose then ask them what they expect to happen next. Once you have their answer, flip it with something completely unexpected, nothing adds more spice to your story faster than the unconventional. 

There are thousands of ways to get inspired, some include making a story playlist, gardening, go for walks, carrying a journal, some people (like me) get inspired by reading and watching movies) Search the web for writing prompts (I've included some here) and just write nonsense for a while of things that could happen in your story. You don't have to use any of it, but it will get your creativity flowing and maybe add a sparkle of something to your story that you may not have thought of normally. 

Be different, stand out. It doesn't matter, write what you would like to read, or write things you're afraid of, your hopes your dreams, you can add it subtly later if the mood strikes you, just write. You must write to get out of the rut, even reading about writing will help, and I've got a ton of great reference books to recommend. 

It's easy to give up, but true writers know that there will be ruts laid in their path and the occasional moment of intense doubt and lack of self confidence, but they push forward anyway. We write because we must, we write to explore, to entertain, to discover. 

What kind of writer are you?

message 2: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia | 39 comments Wow, this is an awesome first post! I am so excited to be invited to join this group and get more focused on my writing. Due to my hectic life, it has been pushed aside, although I have a lot of material that I would love to express! Now's the time to get fired up about my ideas; thanks so much for the inspiration!

message 3: by Hey_jude (new)

Hey_jude | 162 comments Mod
I'm glad these exercises helped. I've got a lot more ideas for getting the creative juices flowing, and soon once we have more members I'm going to try and have a 'write off' based on a prompt I'll have posted up. Stay tuned..as they say.

message 4: by Cheylyne (new)

Cheylyne Wassenaar (memoryhunter) | 79 comments This first post is incredible! Those writing prompts and ideas are sure to get some creative juices flowing! Thanks for inviting me to be a part of this group, I'm really excited and can't wait for the first write-off. I think that this might be the push I need to get back into the whole swing of things. I've kind of neglected my writing because of my busy schedule, but this post has inspired me to set time aside for writing:)

message 5: by Hey_jude (new)

Hey_jude | 162 comments Mod
memory - even if you just put aside ten minutes for brainstorming or writing, it all adds up in the end is good experiance.

message 6: by Cheylyne (new)

Cheylyne Wassenaar (memoryhunter) | 79 comments Sure thing! Thanks:)

message 7: by Thelastencore (new)

Thelastencore | 50 comments Hi!, I am new... I am impressed with the talent in this group. From what i have read so far you guys are not amateur writers. Writing is something that should be taken seriously, its an art, an expression of inner feelings and more. I love writing poetry. I lack skills in "Story" writing. Maybe i can learn a thing or too from you guys. Anyways tc!

message 8: by Cheylyne (new)

Cheylyne Wassenaar (memoryhunter) | 79 comments Thelastencore- Hi and welcome to our group! I agree with you, writing is something that should be taken seriously because it is an art and our expressions of our inner feelings. I personally love writing stories. But I have always admired people who have a natural knack for poetry. I hope you enjoy being a part of this group and I'm glad you decided to join:)

message 9: by Thelastencore (last edited Mar 08, 2011 08:03AM) (new)

Thelastencore | 50 comments Thank you, Glad to be in, Like i said before i lack in story writing skills. I hope i can learn a thing or two and have many good experiences here.

message 10: by Hey_jude (new)

Hey_jude | 162 comments Mod
Thelastencore wrote: "Thank you, Glad to be in, Like i said before i lack in story writing skills. I hope i can learn a thing or too and have many good experiences here."

Welcome to the group, I hope we can help you. Just to let you know, I will probably be starting some discussions featuring poetry. I'm still fairly new to the idea so if you have any suggestions, feel free to post them.

message 11: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia | 39 comments Thelastencore- Welcome! I'm excited to have someone who's a poet in the group, it'd be great to see some of your writing and get some tips. Poetry is not really my strong suit right now, but I'd love to improve.

message 12: by Thelastencore (new)

Thelastencore | 50 comments Thanks, i feel so welcome! :D Anyways, yeah i have considered myself an amateur Poet, but yeah any questions please don't hesitate to ask ;) And as for ideas's..well my mind is flooded with them. XD

message 13: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia | 39 comments You sound strangely familiar. Is that you Owen?

message 14: by Cheylyne (new)

Cheylyne Wassenaar (memoryhunter) | 79 comments *Gasp* No, it couldn't be...Owen? Ha ha.

message 15: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia | 39 comments That's hilarious! (and a little scary) an amateur poet huh?

message 16: by Thelastencore (last edited Mar 08, 2011 08:04AM) (new)

Thelastencore | 50 comments Lol... D= ummm....uhh...ahhhh...oooh...nom nom nom...*awkwardness* Hello... you have figured out my dirty little secrets. and yes i do take Poetry quite seriously...And i know you are thinking "stalker" and i admit maybe i did a little stalking :$

message 17: by Cheylyne (new)

Cheylyne Wassenaar (memoryhunter) | 79 comments Oooh, who were you stalking?

message 18: by Thelastencore (new)

Thelastencore | 50 comments Oh you know...:)People..

message 19: by Cheylyne (new)

Cheylyne Wassenaar (memoryhunter) | 79 comments Creepy

message 20: by Hannah Solo (new)

Hannah Solo | 68 comments how about terrifying. How on earth did you find us?????!!!!!

message 21: by Cheylyne (new)

Cheylyne Wassenaar (memoryhunter) | 79 comments Maybe he was stalking you...WAKEtheSLEEPERinside

message 22: by Thelastencore (new)

Thelastencore | 50 comments I have connections from the inside! beware!

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