Nanowrimo 2011: Week Two NOW w/ Writer’s Block Tips!

This week featured even more road-blocks than before, with the weekend and yesterday clocking in the most hours putting actual words down on paper. I pretty much poked and prodded at the story Wed-Friday and finally sat down Saturday morning and plugged away a substantial amount of wordage. 

Current Word Total: 28,481

On 12 size font with no line spacing: 55 pages in Google Docs (49 pages in Microsoft Word 2007)

That’s not counting anything I’ve done today because I haven’t done anything.

Even if I’m not clocking in 2,000 words everyday, I’m still making an attempt most days, or playing catch-up during those particular time periods where the muse moves me. Not sure if I’m cut out for writing EVERY DAY. Writer’s block is sometimes best worked around by giving yourself a few days to simmer on a particular scene or narrative decision.

On that note…

6 helpful roadblock tip I’ve worked up:

1. Abandon the scene.Whatever isn’t working, isn’t going to get unstuck by me fiddling with the keys without some good ideas or concepts. So I just leave it with a note (or not) and move on to the next bit. Once I start fleshing out a new scene or two, sometimes the inspiration for that other one will come back. I’ve had a scene on pause for a few days now. Granted, this one is due for a re-write, so I already have the tone decided on. Now it’s just the logistics. But whatevs.

2. Just write. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s actually been immensely helpful. Even if I don’t FEEL like writing. Even if what I’m writing is total garbage “the moon was big and white.” It’s still better than no words at all. It still keeps me in the world and story.

3. Make a playlist. I spent some time at the beginning of last week putting together music I’d like to write this particular story to and found some inspiration in the titles of tracks I picked out. Plus, once you actually get started writing, the tempo and rhythm of the song can help dictate the scene. I guess that can be good AND bad at the same time.

4. Do some research. OK, while it’s not technically writing…again, it will help keep you in the world. I spent a few hours looking at the layout of the area I’d set my story in. Researching information on fun technology and freaky military weapons to add. I think that time should count for something.

5. Re-read. Especially if you are working without your chapters outlined. Or an outline period. I spend a little time post-session re-reading the last chunk of text I’ve put down. Helps give me a frame of reference for the story and maybe pick up some interesting details I can carry forward or abandon.

6. Add more detail. Nothing is stopping you from going back to previous scenes and fleshing them out a little more. In fact, most of my story is the skeleton of what will eventually be fleshed out scenes with more character and setting description.

That’s it for now, otherwise: I’ve got a baby to entertain, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations to play, a novel rough draft to write, homework to avoid and dishes to clean. Also have to apply for at least 3 jobs and prepare for my internship on Friday. Look, I’m busy alright. 🙂

Check out the other Nanowrimo related posts here:

Preparing for Nanowrimo 2011

Nanowrimo 2011: Week One

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

7 responses to “Nanowrimo 2011: Week Two NOW w/ Writer’s Block Tips!”

  1. Megan Cline says :

    You’re making awesome progress with a very full plate. My plate is only about half full with a part time job. I’m at a little over twenty thousand words myself. I’ve discovered I write better at night and if I do a semi all night writing binge like I did on Saturday, it takes me a couple days to recover from the lack of sleep. My novel too is a skeleton of the story as well. Part of that I think is because I’m used to writing screenplays where you don’t write in extra detail. All of the tips above are great. Especially the playlists and writing even if it’s garbage. I also try to write at least an hour a day. Often times when I push myself to write an hour a day, it turns into more. Some days it’s easier but it feels pretty good.

    • tinyheroes says :

      Oh my goodness – I so hear you on the screenplay writing comment! I wrote out two of them (plus the TV script) and I think it might have temporarily damaged my ability to include more detail. I’m sort of like “well, I’ll go back and add the scenery in later.” And I tend to describe the action more in terms of direction you would given an actor, instead of writing out emotions. Basically, getting the reader to infer through their actions and body language. Isn’t that weird? It sort of works with the narrative voice I’m using, but is not the best for a novel overall, because the audience relies on you to set up the canvas more or less. Spending time coloring in those details would be a good use of time for someone with writer’s block! 🙂

      I hope you recover from your late-night writing stint! Sometimes it works better to carve out a good chunk of time because you can really get invested in the world. Glad you are joining me in this crazy experience – it’s nice to have someone who can share your highlights and challenges! 🙂

  2. Karen says :

    I am proud of you for pushing through the rough dry spots and I will be very excited to see the story whenever you are ready to share. You do have a full plate and are doing quite well with it.

  3. Elliptical Comparison says :

    Strongly suggest adding a “google+” button for the blog!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Nanowrimo 2011: Week Three « Tiny Heroes - November 23, 2011
  2. Nanowrimo 2011: The Winner’s Circle « Tiny Heroes - November 30, 2011

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