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  1. #41
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    I really love this thread. I haven't been on the forum lately, so I didn't see it until today. In a rush now, but maybe I'll add to it later. Keep up the good work, writer's block is a really depressing feeling for me.

  2. #42
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    My cure to writer's block:

    (1) Have something else to do. Like teaching.
    (2) Ideas will come on the most problematic moments. Carry a writing booklet and jot them down while your students make an exercise.
    (3) Type them in the right order.
    (4) Make a file with the scènes one after the other, mark missing scènes and estimate how much time it would take to write them. Do the same for scènes you want to rewrite.
    (5) Tell your time frame to an ESTJ. The outside pressure makes you continue.

    Do this in no particular order.

    And, of course, never do this:
    (6) Lose the booklet.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
    I'm female. I just can't draw women

  3. #43
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    Pick a number between 1 and 25. Now pick a second number.
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    1. A wreath of flowers
    2. A bowl of candy
    3. A chain
    4. A campsite
    5. A dead animal
    6. A mountain
    7. A sundial carved into a tree
    8. A floating river
    9. Scum in the water
    10. Under a desk
    11. Parallel bikes
    12. Subliminal messages
    13. A cul-de-sac (neighborhood)
    14. A pale face in the water
    15. Birds nailed to a post
    16. Hoof-prints in paint
    17. A streak against the sky
    18. Stars and supernovas
    19. An elongated dragon (Chinese dragon)
    20. Fangs growing from the ground
    21. A strip of sidewalk
    22. A person’s bones turning into sponge
    23. Scissors, a handkerchief, an all-month bus pass
    24. Sliding glass doors
    25. A rehearsal for a play


    What ever you picked must make its way into your story or poem- not as an analogy, but as a place, thing, event that happens. The seed suggestion can be an infinitely small portion of the story (like saying that your character passed by a campsite with birds nailed to posts, before he decided that he wasn't in a safe place and left the area.)
    Last edited by ObeyBunny; 05-22-2010 at 06:32 PM.
    Q: "What is the process of seeking the truth?"
    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

  4. #44
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Magic Words if you get writers block and want to suddenly start writing:
    Spamtar alacazar
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  5. #45
    Senior Member durentu's Avatar
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    I've noticed that writer's block is similar to jazz improvisation. Bobby McFerrin says that the skill most important in jazz is momentum. To keep going without criticism and everything you do is ok. Aside from the technical exercises, for improvisation, try to sing for 10 minutes straight, no matter how silly or strange it is. Just keep going without thinking about it.

    From psychology, Frankl and others noticed that if you become conscious of what you do naturally will basically immobilize you. Take walking for example. Everyone does it without much thought, however, if you start analyzing how exactly you walk, the placement of feet, muscle controls, arm swings, body weight shifts, breathing, you probably find yourself stumbling and perhaps even fall down.

    For writer's block, it's best not to think about writing or start editing as you write it. Bourdain admits that he doesn't have writer's block, but puts things on paper with the condition that he doesn't edit it right away. He lets it sit for a week or so before he goes back check it out.

    For me, I generally ramble on for an hour. Stupid stuff, crazy stuff, with or without an audience in mind etc, really don't pay attention. Sometimes it's about the shape of a crumbled piece of paper. Sometimes I look at something from different angles like an artist drawing a model or fruit bowl. I sit in one position until I get bored writing about it, then I move to the other side and notice things, then laying down, standing up etc. If frustrated, I knock the fruit bowl down and write about that etc. Just continual movement without editing.

    Writing with a specific goal in mind rarely works for me. I mentally create a play space to write with. It's the difference between making a sand castle with a picture in hand and putting yourself in a sandbox or a beach. It's not as accurate, but I'm still moving in the general direction.

    I visualize it like driving. You know how to get fro point A to B, but it's never a straight line and sometimes you go backwards for a little bit. But the idea is to keep moving.
    "People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds; it is something one creates." - Thomas Szasz

  6. #46
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by durentu View Post
    From psychology, Frankl and others noticed that if you become conscious of what you do naturally it will basically immobilize you. Take walking for example. Everyone does it without much thought, however, if you start analyzing how exactly you walk, the placement of feet, muscle controls, arm swings, body weight shifts, breathing, you probably find yourself stumbling and perhaps even fall down.

    For writer's block, it's best not to think about writing or start editing as you write it. Bourdain admits that he doesn't have writer's block, but puts things on paper with the condition that he doesn't edit it right away. He lets it sit for a week or so before he goes back check it out.

    I visualize it like driving. You know how to get fro point A to B, but it's never a straight line and sometimes you go backwards for a little bit. But the idea is to keep moving.
    Very good point- When I try to over analyze my own writing (while I’m writing) I just end up feeling like a teacher-ly third person watching someone else struggle putting together basic sentences (as stupid as it sounds, I end up remote viewing myself type.)

    It’s altogether a frustrating process (if your inner critic is halting your fingers and pointing to the screen and saying “that was a stupid sentence” “you’re slapping the reader in the face with this bullshit, make it more subtle”)- especially if you’re not writing for pleasure, but instead trying to keep to a deadline.

    So just writing anything that comes to mind- whether it makes sense or not, whether it is pleasing to the ear or not, whether it pertains to the actual intended message and direction of the essay or story or not- is an excellent practice.
    Q: "What is the process of seeking the truth?"
    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

  7. #47
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    Usually when I suffer from writer’s block, it’s because I foolishly have written myself into a corner by setting up a string of circumstances and character interactions that logically don’t move the story in the direction where I want the story to go.

    It’s my personal philosophy that there are (roughly) 12 sources of writer’s block.
    1. Fear of criticism,
      -
    2. too much sympathy towards a character (not killing off or harming someone which would have been a good source of story conflict) So you have pages and pages that accomplish nothing.
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    3. wanting a story to lead one way but it instead starts down a different path (so you stop in your tracks and violently brainstorm how to rip up the path before you and have it turn back around)
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    4. not knowing enough information to put something together. (an essay or story is just one idea transcending into another. Lacking information is like trying to put together a rainbow while missing colors in a spectrum and having only big black or transparent gashes to look at)
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    5. Trying to compose and edit simultaneously
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    6. Demanders of chronological order (what ever you write first will be the first words that the readers see. writing a story without knowing where it will go)
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    7. Not knowing what the story is about- just having a random assortment of paragraphs that read beautify. (Note! The worst thing you can do in this situation is to add a murder scene and call your book "symbolic") You've probably encountered these books while taking a freshman English class.
      -
    8. Pushing yourself too hard (such as saying “I’m going to write 10 pages a day!” or saying “Well, it needs to be a 450 page book and I need to submit it in 8 weeks”)
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    9. Not wanting to write in the first place (A variation of this is just wanting see your name under the title of a book so you can impress your friends)
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    10. The writer is distracted by outside things (such as constant phone calls, empty Pepsi cans touching your wrists as you type, or an annoying garlicky taste in the back of your throat)
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    11. The writer’s mood changes (You were writing the book when you were pessimistic about humanity or the universe in general. The book, up till now, reflects that. However, life starts to get better for you and you now find that you can’t keep the story negative- but how are you to change things? Your character has just lost half his family in a car fire and has been moved into a foster home with child molesters.)
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    12. The writer puts away the book he’s working on and then returns later after he’s become a more skillful writer. (If this is what’s happened to you, you probably said something like “I can’t finish this! My muse would never respect me again!”)


    ---
    This thread is intended to find solutions that deal with all of these. - and to find more sources of witer's block.
    Last edited by ObeyBunny; 06-01-2010 at 08:30 PM.
    Q: "What is the process of seeking the truth?"
    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

  8. #48
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    For me it's (5) (+ procrastination, of course). Whenever I type directly in my word document, no matter if I know I can always edit it, I always want it to be okay directly. A physical separation between scratch (booklet) and neat (computer) does the trick for me.
    Got questions? Ask an ENTP!
    I'm female. I just can't draw women

  9. #49
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    For me it's (5) (+ procrastination, of course). Whenever I type directly in my word document, no matter if I know I can always edit it, I always want it to be okay directly. A physical separation between scratch (booklet) and neat (computer) does the trick for me.
    For the current story I am working on, it’s numbers 3 and 6. The only reason why I’m doing chronological order is because I had this one scene in my mind that I thought was so cool (at the time) that I had to expand the story in both directions (by which I mean I think of stuff that caused the scene to happen, and things that occur as a result) just to have that scene in a story.

    Unfortunately, the scene I was thinking of was at the end of chapter one. I also have a few stray scenes that I want to have eventually make their way into the book. Now I have the arduous task of filling in the gaps so that one story event leads to the next one logically.
    Q: "What is the process of seeking the truth?"
    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

  10. #50
    Senior Member ObeyBunny's Avatar
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    Note! This is not a cure for writer's block, it's just a good practice I wanted to share with you guys.

    You should have something new written down by the end of each week. I’m not telling you to write daily but you must have at least one sentence every week that can be put into a shoe box and used later when you’re writing prose.

    It can pertain to a specific scene you have in mind, or it can be a generic statement that can be used anytime within the story (such as describing an emotion such as fear or longing.)
    ---
    Here is an example of some phrases and sentences that I have in my shoe box (or Microsoft word document) Please don’t steal these phrases, I still intend to use them

    Scene specific:
    • *Primitive alien (from a hunter-gatherer tribe) wakes up in an observation room and can't leave for 5 weeks* -He hated the door -that bitter, trembling anger born of (Suppressed) fear. What could be on the other side of this particular opening? More walls or perhaps emptiness. This wasn’t his earth, it was some kind of living hell.

    Generic phrases:
    • *being admonished* -head lowered, somewhat observing the carpet pattern underfoot.
    • *some sad event*- A quick stinging sensation from my left eye to my right- and then the tears came.
    Q: "What is the process of seeking the truth?"
    A: "Distilled liquor"

    Q: "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
    A: "Between a starving prostitute and a steak sandwich."

    Q:How would a mathematician capture an elephant?
    A:He would build a cage, step inside, and rename his new location as "outside."

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