We've all heard of it. We've all probably experienced it.
How To Deal (a visual guide)
1. Write something else. Sometimes it helps to step away from whatever has you blocked and write something else. This could be a later scene in your story, a different story, free writing, or even building on your character development or outline. Personally, when I'm blocked, I skip to a different section/chapter or start outlining what it is that I'm trying to convey. Then, after a bit of time, reread what you have written and try again.
We won't judge you on what goes through your mind in these moments
2. Review your plot. It happens to the best of us. We get caught up in the detail we are writing and lose track of the bigger picture. The result is that you feel like you are getting dragged along and have no
real sense of where you are going. This can be addressed by looking at your outline and/or stepping away from your notebook or computer and mentally running through your story.
3. Research Michael. Yeah, I managed to fit my favorite word in again and make it relevant.
Doing this could mean reading about him during that time in his life. Watching his short films, listening to his music, watching old interviews, and/or youtubes that other fans have posted. He was your initial inspiration, so it makes sense that going back to him when you are unsure, will help spark your future work.
4. Read other fanfictions. Look at how other authors manage twists, frame dialogue, and write prose. Notice the difference between what works and what doesn't. Think about what they wrote and what you might have written. In general, draw upon others to exercise your
Caveat: Do not plagiarize. People will recognize it when you do. I could rattle off stories and examples, but that's neither here nor there. Suffice it to say, it is disrespectful.
5. Phone a friend. This could mean asking readers what they think will happen, bouncing ideas off of a friend, giving readers options and asking them to vote, etc. Use your audience.
6. Figure out what you don't need. Okay, you did the research, so now what? Do you need to post it all? NO. If you start getting bogged down in all the details you need to include and/or trying to show your readers that you did all your research, then you aren't necessarily writing your fanfiction. Yes, do it so that you can back up your choices and better develop your characters, but don't feel like you need to write out ALL the facts. Too much unnecessary information isn't a good thing.
7. Establish a schedule (and stick to it). Set aside time that is for writing your fanfiction and stick to that schedule, whether it is 15 minutes or an hour. Train your body to do it and your mind will follow. Part of this involves knowing when you should not write. If writing late at night keeps you up, try waking up extra early or ending writing earlier.
8. Set deadlines (and keep them). Tell your readers when they can expect the next chapter and follow through. As with point 8, consistency breeds consistency. If you make yourself accountable to someone else, you are more likely to follow through. It's the same with diets, exercise, and work deadlines. This is no different.
Get it done.
9. Carry something to take notes with. Whether it is your smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or a paper and pencil, taking notes when inspiration strikes can help give you fuel during those moments when you feel as though you are at a standstill.
10. Keep writing. If you've done all of the above or found them to be unhelpful, push through. Sometimes there really is no fun cure. If you ask most fulltime writers what they do when they have writer's block, they'll tell you that they keep writing. You may throw away what you write, you may not. Remember that something is better than nothing.
"Well, the best songs that are written write themselves. You don't ask for them, they just drop into your lap. Then there are those songs that, you know, you kind of uh, incubate. You know, you plant the seed, let the subconscious take its course, and within time you hope something comes, and most the time it does. I don't believe in the concept of writer's block -- that is a bad word. You create it when you say it. There's no such thing."
(M. Jackson, audio chat, October 26, 2001)
And remember, if all else fails, grab a slinky