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Challenge Writer's Block Discussion and Challenge Thread- Block Breaker 7 - 3/15/15

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by mavjade , Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 2, 2005
    I like Gaiman because he likes to demystify the writing process and pragmatically approach it like the hard work it is. I think there's a tendency to do the opposite (and an external force called "writer's block!" is part of that) because writing can be so weird sometimes. There's stories that are just there, where your fingers can barely put down the words fast enough to satisfy your brain, the ones where you can fly through something novel-length in a few months. And others where nothing wants to come easily and you just sit there puzzled and go, "hmm, idk, my bff Jill?" That can be pretty hard to explain.

    Definitely. Of course, the last part of his comment is the important bit, "... while somewhere in the back of my mind I'm churning over why I'm stuck and what went wrong and figuring out how to go forward."
    Otherwise you end up like me, where you come back years later to a story and are sort of astonished all over again to find that it hasn't finished itself yet :p
    Viridian-Maiden likes this.
  2. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Thanks for bringing the discussion here, diva!

    While I agree with Stackpole that those things can block you, I don't think that's all it is. Of course it's something that's different for everyone.
    For me, I think it mostly comes from self-doubt. When I start thinking about it too much, "Is this stupid?", "Does this actually drive the plot?", "Does the science that's over my head make sense?" "Is this full of things people are going to think 'well they could have just done (some stupidly easy thing) to fix this situation'?" When those type of questions start flowing is when I find I can't write anything. Even moving on to a different scene tends not to work as I'm too worried about writing myself into a corner.

    I have tried to work on writing something else as Gaiman suggested, and it does work sometimes (and has for me with NaNo) . But I find that I get very frustrated and often don't even give that a try. Perhaps I should do it more often.
  3. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    First, I love Gaiman.

    Second, yes. I have multiple fics on hold because I am still learning to balance everything and I need to unblock myself often - but it takes a "I've got it!" moment to unblock me. I usually write one fic while thinking about a couple of others, that works well for me. :)
  4. Viridian-Maiden

    Viridian-Maiden Jedi Master star 1

    Aug 14, 2013
    mm I also don't really disagree but think there is more to the story.

    speaking as one REALLY struggling right problem isn't that I don't know my character well enough. My problem is that I can't find her. She's just...absent. It's not really the same as not knowing your character or trying to force them into something OOC. And I definitely would call it block because it feels very out of my control...

    Not to get all depressive, but now that I think about it I think I can directly tie my DWB to a prolonged period of personal loss. I mean, it probably can't be a coincidence that I would describe what I feel as my OC is "MIA" or "absent" during a period of time when I feel like a lot of people in my life have abandoned me...which isn't me trying to get melodramatic...but seems a useful exploration of psychological realities and their relation.

    And for some reason that leads me to ask myself an interesting question, which is:

    What would my OC do if she were here with me? Would she abandon me? Or would she of all people remain my friend? What would she say if she knew what were happening with me or someone she knew well were going through the same things?

    She must be as near to me as I once was to her...or so one would think.

    And the answer might not be easy for all OCs...they are after all flawed as much as anyone else...but perhaps there are some metaphysical laws of writing at play here...we are after all their there anything owed to us for that?

    As for me...I'm determined not to force myself...but I would like to know the answer to my question...and while I'm waiting for things to be fixed in the RL world and the world of DWB, I'm rather excited about this new way to explore my relationship with my OC.
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    I love this topic! I agree with Gaiman & STackpole both. More often than not, it probably is an internal thingy like mav says of self-doubt and/or writing yourself into a corner plot wise. I find that when I get stuck, lines of dialogue that pop into my head or that I hear/read make me go aha! He/She would say that or that's the tone I'm looking for. Thinking more about the emotional ambience of where you want the character(s) to end up sometimes is helpful when the actual details don't flow, and then you can fill in those places.

    The having several projects going at once is an interesting solution. [face_thinking] For those who can't finsih and/or procrastinate though, it's probably more of the problem. :p
  6. yahiko

    yahiko Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 12, 2015
    If Gaiman was right, ie. Writer's block doesn't exist, and I have a block.
    So does it mean I am not a writer? :p
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    yahiko [face_laugh] What I think Gaiman was saying is that writers are the only creative types who externalize what makes them stuck instead of admitting that what they're telling themselves is making them feel blocked. So, his solution revolves around talking to yourself with different "messages." @};-
    mavjade , Admiral Volshe and yahiko like this.
  8. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Shocking! I have an update. using the Week 4 prompts (starring Obi-Wan and a previously utilized OC named Sibylla Orien, deals with various mystically Force stuff): Not Yet Remembered
    Findswoman , Ewok Poet and mavjade like this.
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I have a response to #7. Set Before the Saga, but close to it.