Remember the story of the little boy who was afraid of the monster in his closet? If he hollered for his mother, she’d come running, soothing him and staying with him until his fears subsided. But Daddy? That’s another story. “Eat him up.” he yelled to his son’s dismay. Daddy thought it was a joke, knowing there wasn’t a monster in his son’s closet. Son wasn’t so sure.
Who wouldn’t yell for the mother?
What writer hasn’t faced the monster Block a time or two in their writing career? Well, we don’t have to let him keep control. We can face that monster, and know we have the upper hand because we have the tools and ability to knock him into outer space.
Here’s a few hints and thoughts for your consideration the next time he comes around:
- Take a break from staring at your screen. Grab hold of your favorite activity, hobby or exercise and go at it. Allow your brain to relax. Read a book, call a friend (no texting: Call!). Go swimming, boating, fishing, hiking. Go out for dinner. Take a nap. The main thing is, relax your brain and allow it to rejuvenate.
- Go back. Yep, that’s right. Re-read that last scene or chapter and try a different approach. Change your character’s direction. Maybe he needs to go down the stairs instead of up. Could be she needs to confront that awful friend instead of ignoring her. Instead of the athletic shoes, she needs to don a pair of heels. Maybe he needs to shed that suit and put on some casuals. Just don’t be afraid to change things around a bit.
- Understand that if you’re bored with your story, or feel afraid it’s much too mundane, then approach that problem and fix it. Get a trusted critique partner to read it and give you their thoughts. Study your story and consider hiking up the tension. Pretty is as pretty does, as the old saying goes.
- Don’t be afraid to add tension/conflict, adventure and/or spice to your work.
- Don’t be afraid to revise, study and revise some more.
- Edit, cut, create.
- Re-read the whole book, jot down notes, find the plot holes, check on some questionable items, fill in the blanks.
Shoo that ole Monster Block out of your life with a little bit of determination and the right ammunition/knowledge to march straight ahead with your story.