An Author’s Guide to Sticky Situations

As I’m writing “TWENTY”, my upcoming eBook release, I’ve come to realize that I can get very STUCK while writing it. Right now, I’m on Chapter Seven and my mind seems to be wiped clean of ideas. So, what can I or any author do to keep their story going rather than quitting?

1. Step away from your writing, get up and out of that chair or bed or wherever your sitting to write, turn on your favorite music, and dance around in a circle.

I’m not entirely sure what this accomplishes, but letting loose and getting my heart pumping definitely helps me get out of my slump.

2. Browse Google Images.

A lot of the time, when I need an idea for my book, I will just type in a keyword to my Google Search Engine, switch it to Images, and browse through them. More than likely, I will see a picture that intrigues me and sends my brain spiraling in a new direction for my plot.

3. Get others to read your latest chapter, ask them what they think will happen next, DO THE OPPOSITE!

This has helped me A TON. When I’m super stuck, I do this little trick and will sometimes use my readers perspective to invent a new twist in my story. My only suggestion is to make sure the person reading is someone who really believes in your story. The last thing you need is an unenthusiastic reader who could care less!

4. Music, music, music!

Music helps me write all the time, and lately, I’ve been using Spotify to create specific playlists for each story I’m working on. One of the biggest concepts for my eBook is the idea of having a place to call home. So, any song that fits that want for a home, I just add it to the playlist, shuffle the songs, and typically can get a whole chapter done! It also helps by organizing your music by intensity/pace. For example, if you’re listening to an upbeat song, your more likely to write something less daunting.

5. Kill a character that will force you to take a new course in your writing.

Now, you don’t want to kill a character every chapter, but when you’re SUPER STUCK, and have no other option, killing off a character might help you fill some pages.

6. Add a new character.

Just like killing a character, adding one can help move your story along to. Where did they come from? Why are they needed? What’s their purpose? Are they an enemy or friend? Will they betray the other characters? This could fill up several pages.

7. Read other books.

Sometimes reading other stories and seeing how the author managed to complete it with plot twists can truly help enhance your own writing. Like the way a certain character died in your favorite series? What about a way that character achieved a goal? Twist these things and make them your own. The only thing to be wary of with this option is to make sure you aren’t duplicating an author’s work. Sometimes, when I’m writing, I catch myself writing a scene that I’ve read about practically verbatim. Props to that author for making their story so memorable, but no back pats for me for stealing their idea. So, just be careful.

8. Use your uncompleted story ideas and make them fit into your new story.

As a writer, I have several short stories, and that’s all they really are: short. I don’t really do anything with them. So, why not incorporate them into my new story? If you have short stories on hand like I do, this might be a great option for you!

For now, that’s all I have to give you. Try and pick one of these options whenever your stuck. You never know, maybe it will get you out of that rut you’ve been stuck in for so long. If you’re not all that stuck but want a challenge because your book, you feel, needs more excitement, one of these options might work as well. All of the options are pretty universal. So, use them however thy will benefit your writing!

I hope everyone’s having a nice Monday, and I’ll see you on my social networks for the rest of the week!

Always,

Jinapher J. Hoffman

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