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Twisted Tuesday: Writer’s Block

I’ve officially dubbed all Tuesdays… Twisted. Twisted Illusions is now available to buy and right now you can even get a signed copy. So if you’re looking to get caught up in a juicy trilogy filled with drama, action, romance and so much more, now’s your chance! The next book in the Twisted Trilogy won’t be out for a while, but in the meantime, Twisted Tuesdays will give you a glimpse of what’s happening right now! This week, it’s less about the series and more about the making of! I know my fellow writers out there get writer’s block a lot, so I felt like I could offer some of the things that I do to beat it.

First, How Far Am I?

Right now, I’m in the seventh chapter of Twisted Abandon and emotions are about to start running. It was right around mid-chapter five when I hit writer’s block and nearly cried over the fact that I had hit a bump. It was this really pivotal scene, one that I felt was subtle but crucial to the story line and I just couldn’t get past it. I had a few drafts of it that weren’t good. I had a few ideas that could jazz it up, but at that point, I was just plain not into what I was writing. The scene was missing something. I couldn’t put my finger on it but my brain wouldn’t let me move on without it.

There Are Different Kinds Of Writer’s Block, But There Are Two That I Encounter Most..

Everyone knows what writer’s block is. I’m not gonna lie, I like Wikipedia’s definition of it the best.

Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with typing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to more extreme examples in which some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years, and some have even abandoned their supposed lifelong careers.

Well, okay. I like some of that. I don’t like the part where they mention abandoning lifelong careers. Writing’s something I”ve been doing forever. If they just cursed me, *knocks on wood* I’d be devastated.

Type One: How Did I Get Here and Where Can I Get Out?

The Problem: I’ve found that my books are like movies to me. I play them in my head and run different scenarios until I envision one that fits. A lot of the times, they tend to write themselves. Sometimes when I’m writing, I’m not even looking at the paper. I’m observing things around me, and when I look down I will have written a sentence that I didn’t even plan. A great example of that is the scene from Twisted Illusions where Chris Harrison confronts William Kelly and Matthew Stevenson. (You can actually read that because it’s the official snippet for Twisted Illusions). I didn’t mean for it to happen but I liked it. I was thoroughly confused though. Where was I supposed to go from there? This opened up a brand new wormhole for all the characters involved. I mean, how could our beloved Matthew Stevenson just become so soft like that? I thought he was the macho man!

My Solution: Then, I started playing around with it. I started writing down things about Matthew I liked. I referenced things I didn’t as well. Matthew has certain personality flaws and strengths that would make him more relate-able as a person. Honestly, that’s how Matthew’s addiction was born. At first it was like, Matthew has a few out-of-character moments that turned into Matthew is completely out of character. So, “how did I get here?” turned into “HEYYYY I LIKE WHERE THIS IS GOING” after days and days of confusion. Best case of writer’s block ever. It took me two weeks and to draft up an entire character evaluation document to fully map out a small scene in order to make it important enough to not be strewn on the cutting room floor later.

Type Two: OH GOD NO, I’M STUCK. COME ON BRAIN FIX YOURSELF!

The Problem: Sometimes it can be a sentence, sometimes it can be a scene, sometimes it can be an entire book… The most common and my least favorite form of writer’s block is when you just draw a blank. You’re writing, or typing at 1,000 mph and then your brain just stops. You leave your characters standing in that room arguing with each other and because you can’t figure out what that one character says to make the other smack him in the face with the frying pan (If you even want to use a frying pan. Why not stab her?), they’re inevitably stuck there.

Fun Fact: I picture my characters as real life people and when I hit writer’s block, my characters are in limbo in their own lives. To be or not to be, that is a question that my characters can’t control because they can’t live their own lives unless I tell them to. (Like The Sims!)

My Solution: Lately, I’ve been playing instrumentals and cinematic scores to locate one that fills the empty moments in the scenes that play in my head. It helps to watch movies that have a lot of rises and falls. For instance, I remember watching “The Vow” a few years ago and loving the earthly scenes where a lot of emotion was completed with moments where the camera panned around the apartment. I loved that it was shown from the view of both main characters, and the music corresponded with the emotion that that particular character was feeling in that setting. Anxiously, I rewatched it and bought the soundtrack. I listened to the entire thing with my eyes shut.

Eventually, listening to the music forced my mind to paint a picture. The blank, empty canvas of  the missing sequence of the scene I was “blocked” in began to come to life. Yet,  there was not a song in my library that described the atmosphere of the moment so I resulted to my personal favorite… Soundcloud. I love Soundcloud, I constantly find myself on it after the first time I heard “We Found Ourselves Lost” which if you haven’t heard, you need to. As a writer, I’m a storyteller and “We Found Ourselves Lost” tells the story of love. Upon a diligent search, my ears heard the song that painted the full on image that completed the scene. Writer’s block gone! It really helped me! Music inspires the mind.

One of these Tuesdays, I’ll make a playlist that gives you a look into how many songs have saved scenes in Twisted Abandon, alone.

So What Broke The Writer’s Block This Time?

A song entitled “Lay Beneath Your Beautiful” was the perfect moment of background music to describe a sentimental moment where a character ends up stumbling across an item that reminds her of her teen years. She takes the time to gingerly place it down and there are paragraphs of describing her amorous emotion toward this dress. I chose this cover of the song by Labrinth because it’s a piano instrumental and it definitely gives off a subtle cinematic vibe as if it could be playing quietly in the background. You can hear the original song here. 

That song right there is what finally pushed through Chapter Five.

So, what’s your Writer’s Block Buster?

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