Thursday, September 19, 2013

Writer's Block: How Do I Overcome It?

Sarah asked me a great question the other day, and I would like to share it with any other authors-in-training: I am twelve years old, and want to be an author someday, but I suffer from writer's block a lot. How do I fight it?

Here is my experience with writer's block:
To help overcome the "nothing to write" syndrome, I like to read books and imagine a different ending or different characters . . . or put my own characters inside of a story or TV adventure (or movie). That gets the imagination jump-started. It's a little bit like what I'm doing with the story-writing contest here. I've already created Andi's "world." You readers need only make up some fun adventures, without having to create every little detail of that world. That makes writing a bit easier.


Me as a young teen
In my own experience, I once read a book called Baby Island, by Carol Ryrie Brink. I liked the idea of a couple of kids stranded on a desert island, so I got all excited and wrote my own version (without the babies). I called it Castaway Island. But the reason I wrote it in the first place was because I'd read that other book! You can read my story by clicking this link: SUZY'S STORIES. Once you are there, scroll down to the Suzy's Stories section and click the link for Castaway Island. (It's kind of a silly story, but hey! I'm glad I kept it!) There is also a Martian story (yeah, as in the planet Mars), since I liked outer space when I was a young teen. Other stories will be added as I get them formatted. After all, I had to write with pencil and paper in those days!

I also liked the old TV show Star Trek when I was a young teen, and I wanted to live on a starship, so I wrote a bunch of Star Trek stories for me to read and dream.

The point is . . . you don't always have to write a story from "scratch." (That's why there are thousands of "Fan Fiction" stories on the internet.) It's okay to expand an already created universe to get your writer's block under control. Soon, like me, you'll be making up other stories all on your own!
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18 comments:

  1. I agree, good books are the best places for inspiration! Sometimes I like to create an image in my mind and work forward from that. I'm also careful not to over-think things, I just get a rough idea and let the story (or any other piece of writing) develop and flow as I write it. Thanks for the post :)

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  2. Hey,thanks for answering (and posting) my question!

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  3. I love "Baby Island"! :)

    Here are a few other ides that have worked for me. If you are suffering from "Writer's Block" try asking yourself questions about your story or get a friend or family member to ask them. :) Sometimes when I'm stuck on one story, I'll start writing a different story or go read a book. However, there have been several times when nothing seemed to work. I had about 5 different stories started and I couldn't seem to write anything on any of them! What to do? I decided that I was going to make myself write ONE sentence in each story. I often ended up with 2 sentences, but it seemed to work for suddenly one story just began to come together. The important thing is not to just give up and quit. Keep trying.
    Have fun writing!

    P.S. Michaela, I can't over-think things either or my story gets dull. :)

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  4. Great advice, Rebekah! Thanks for chiming in!

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  5. Great tips!!
    I really like "Castaway Island" and the Martian story!!
    They're fun!! :D

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  6. Thats what I do! I love to write and have a bunch of short stories. I love westerns and so a lot my stories take place in the 1800s. Whenever I have 'writers block' I watch a western episode and then put my own "spin"on it. Im so excited for the writinf contest!! :D

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    1. SJ, you and Calamity Rene and I are more alike than one would think. That is exactly what I do. Need book fodder? "Go watch an episode!" LOL Put my own spin on it. Publish book. What a formula! LOL

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    2. SJ, Susan is right, we are all alike! I watch tons of different Westerns and then create a story by connecting all of them. It can get really crazy and fun. :) I haven't had a lot of problems with Writers Block, my biggest problem is creating way too many stories. I write tons of beginnings and then start new ones. It takes me ages to finish one story, but when I do you can be sure I've already started a new one. Not a good habit to get into, let me assure you. ;)

      -Calamity Rene

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  7. Thanks for the tips!
    I'll have to remember them while trying to write storys:)

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  8. What is Justin's middle name?Did he go to college if so what college?

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    1. Justin Thomas Carter. He went to law school back East, at Harvard. Yeah, he's smart, and his family is rich. They could afford it. And Harvard was still a decent (i.e. "Christian") kind of university back then. :-)

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  9. What is Mitch's middle name? I love your tips! I've started many stories that never got finished.

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  10. What is Chad's, Melinda's and Kate's middle name?

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    1. Here is the entire line-up: (you can learn more by clicking the "My Family" link on the sidebar, :-) )

      Justin Thomas
      Chad Aaron
      Katherine Grace
      Mitchell James
      Melinda Jane
      Andrea Rose

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  11. I have a question for you Mrs. Marlow,
    How do you come up with names for your characters??
    I always have a terrible time coming up with names. :(

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    1. My reply got so long that I decided to answer it in a new "Author Trivia" post. I will try to post tonight . . .

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    2. Thank you Mrs. Marlow!! :D
      I can't wait!! :)

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Let Andi know what you think!