Mini Writer’s Block

Usually, when I put a manuscript aside for a huge chunk of time, it’s because I hit a wall–but only a little wall. 

When I’m writing blind, without an outline for what’s going to happen, I enjoy taking a break and figuring out what my characters will do next.  I talk to myself a lot.  I’ll do some dishes while discussing with myself how secondary characters would respond to a choice my protagonist might make.  Or I’ll hold a series of vocal debates with myself in the shower over whether or not introducing a new character will hurt the story’s tone or significantly alter the relationships between the other characters.  And when I figure it out, I sit down and type out what I’ve decided to do.

But when I do plan things out in advance, I tend to set forth the larger story arcs and gloss over the individual elements needed to make those arcs happen.  When I actually try to write out a draft of the story, I know generally how to get from point A to point Z, but no clue how to get to point B.  If it doesn’t immediately come to me as I write, I kind of roll my eyes at the story details…I have, on occasion, hacked my novels to bloody bits whilst extolling the virtues of Genesis.


I get to the point at which I can’t see the trees for the forest.  And I lose interest.  And I avoid the story for six months.  And I make no progress whatsoever.

This is one of the aspects of my writing (or my writing habits) that The New Devil has been immensely helpful with.  I write that serial on a schedule–so if I’ve gotten to a point where I’m stuck and I don’t care anymore, I don’t get to ignore it for long.  I may not know what to do, but I need to do something fast because I need to have another post up by Monday!  It doesn’t always produce the best results, but the longer I do it the more ways I’ve found to keep my productivity up without sacrificing too much quality.

To any authors out there who struggle with writer’s block and need a way to help themselves overcome it…have you ever considered trying your hand at a serial?  It might help.


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