Squadron of elven archers?
Oh, didn’t see you there.
I don’t know about you, but writer’s block has a tendency to ambush me in gorilla warfare fashion. I can’t afford any surprise attacks during Camp NaNoWriMo. Afterall, camp is suppose to be fun! So I prepared a list of evasive maneuvers that’ll keep me on my writerly toes.
- Read Before Writing
When I first participated in NaNoWriMo I had fun during the first few days. Then after a week I started to slow down and procrastinate. In order to keep myself excited about writing I read for fifteen minutes before committing words to my manuscript. It worked like a charm.
- Read After Writing
People usually stretch when they’re done exercising. The same should go for writing! I read for an extra fifteen minutes after a writing sessions just to cool down my imaginative muscle.
- Write Without Restrictions
Having no restrictions on your imagination is easier said then done. But once you write without worrying about the way something sounds you’ll end up surprising yourself.
- Outlines Aren’t Set in Stone
Don’t waste your energy struggling to keep close to your outline. It’s okay to veer away from it. Welcoming new ideas is a good thing not a bad thing.
- Absolutely NO Editing
You can always do this after you’re done writing something. But doing it at the same time is a recipe for disaster. Ignore that inner critic, you can do it!
- Freewrite Often
Freewriting or flash fiction is the equivalent of a warm up before a jog. I just sit back and write down whatever comes to mind. Once I’ve gotten in my creative groove, I jump into my manuscript.
- Keep A Notebook Handy
I often tell people that I write even when I’m not in front of a computer. It’s true! I’m always—always—thinking up new ideas, themes, scenes, or whatever. But I can’t keep up with every thought. So I keep a notebook (or some device) around to log my flash thoughts into.
Do you have any writer’s block surviving tips?
Before National Reading Month officially closes next week, I wanted to talk about five influential books.
Hey, hey, hey…these five books got me further invested into writing (other than this incident). You may even find them interesting. Show a little bit of enthusiasm! Sheesh…
In elementary, I never liked fantasy because I thought it was…unrealistic. That all changed on my fourteenth birthday where I received this book as a gift. Suddenly, I became obsessed with the idea of magic, elves, dragons or whatever else fantasy writers and authors could think up. Baker opened up my mind to other genres and writing styles.
I remember the day I found this book. I was browsing the shelves in my middle school library looking for something to sink my teeth into. My fingertips brushing across the spines of assorted books until finally stopping at Nightingale. I flipped open to the first page and was transported into imaginary world. Its theme: feudral japan. I actually attempted to write this story out word for word and claim it as my own…then someone explained to me what plagiarism is. After that big let-down I decided to get serious about writing and made it a goal to pen my own manuscript(s).
By high school, the only vampire book that I read was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Demon in My View was my first paranormal romance book that I ever read. I enjoyed every word of it though it was the author that fascinated me. Why? Well Rhodes published her first book when she was 13! To me, that’s awesome.
So, we all know how it feels to be assigned a book to read. You start skipping to the last page, letting your mind wander while you’re reading, and so forth. That wasn’t the case for me with The Outsiders. Something about Darry, Sodapop, and Ponyboy really drew me in. Maybe it was the silly names, the friendships and convincing sibling rivalry? I think it was more the author that captured my attention. In the back flap I remember it saying that Hinton needed encouragement to write this book. The fact that she did write and publish it, was also an encouragement to me too.
This was the second assigned book that struck a chord with me. I actually read a couple of days ahead of schedule because I was so enthralled with the conflict. I wanted to know what happened to the preacher’s son in the end and if anything could be done to keep him (the preacher’s son) from facing the death penalty. I hadn’t read a book that had so much emotional value before. I interpreted Paton’s novel as a lesson of endurance in the face of strife (for example, in writing terms, rejection slips or writer’s block).
There you have it. Five books that have influenced and encouraged me to write over the years.
If you could choose five books that have had an influence on you, what would they be?
You push open the swinging doors and walk into the Inky Tavern. Immediately you stop and raise an eyebrow at the scene.
The tavern is filled with a mixture of patrons from aliens to orcs to galactic mercenaries and wizards. Though everyone’s eyes are glossed over and droopy. In fact, you actually have to step over a frosty bearded time traveler laying incongruously on the floor. You notice that there’s a snot bubble peeking out of the time traveler’s nose each time he exhales.
The atmosphere is filled with music from an out of sync band on the stage. Their lead singer is a monkey dressed in a pink dress trimmed in tulle.
You start to walk out. But all of a sudden the monkey lets out an agitated screech that wakes up everyone. It picks up the microphone and starts to bang it onto the stage similar to the way toddlers shake a rattle. You stand still as you watch all hell break loose. A food fight happening to your right, poker chips being thrown to your left and the time traveler is running through tavern screaming: “The British are coming! The British are coming!”.
Hey, glad you can stop by. Why don’t you come take a seat?
You look all around you, and notice that your way out is blocked by a crowd of brawling dwarves. Much to your chagrin, you realize you have no other choice.
I glance around at the bar to find BoBo, my earth elemental bouncer, and gestures at the monkey. Bobo grumbles and wades his way through the crowd.
Yep, it’s definitely Monday. Always lethargic and slow.
You glance around at the rowdy tavern then back at me.
You know what I mean.
I snatch an odd green looking bottle of soda off the back shelf.
Pig breath? Sounds tasty.
Pours us both a glass.
I don’t know about you but Mondays are one of the hardest days to write. I mean… after trudging through [insert a responsible adult task here] only to have to redo it again—and write!? Bleh!
But then I remember something.
Writing is a place where I can be…well me. Which is why I’m here to tell you to fill your Monday with words (either by reading or writing). Do something different and let your imagination go crazy! Release the dogs! Fire the canons! Do this and your Monday will suddenly look like Saturday (that is…if you don’t [insert annoying adult task here] on Saturdays).
The rampaging monkey shrieks loudly as BoBo tackles it.
I raise my glass of pig breath into the air.
Drinks it, than spits it out.
Yuck! Who makes this stuff?
So, what do you like about writing? (post in comments or on your own personal space)