A Map to Get Out of Writer’s Block

If you’re a writer, chances are you’ve experienced writer’s block. The problem usually has to do with some intractable plot or character issue that feels like a rubik’s cube with 7 different colors. Will it ever work or do you need to rethink the entire manuscript? Heaven forbid.

At this point, you’re anxiously trying to remember all the different approaches to character or plot development. You know very well there’s probably some creative solution to the problem. Unfortunately, if you’re blocked, you usually can’t remember any writing advice that could get the story flowing again.

That’s why we created the map. It’s all the advice you need to remember when you’re blocked, with some interesting extras. We started calling it the Map to Get Out of Writer’s Block.

Write on.

 


Keeping Secrets: Building Suspense or Deceiving Your Reader?

As writers, we’re taught not to give everything away upfront. Cut the backstory, leave some work for your reader, and create tension. There’s a line between deceiving the reader and building suspense, but when is a secret a cornerstone of the plot, and when is it a gimmick?

Why One Author Chose Self-Publishing over HarperCollins: Polly Courtney

How can a first-time, self-published author gain the attention of CNN, the BBC and the Times? And after signing up with HarperCollins, what could possibly go wrong?

That’s a Beautiful Sentence. Cut it. 

As Georges Simenon edited his work, if he came across an especially beautiful sentence, he did something very odd. He cut it. “Every time I find such a thing in one of my novels it is to be cut,”

What Discouraged, Young Writers Should Know

If you’re not an established writer (and often even then), you’ve probably endured long stretches of grave doubt. It may come as a great surprise that it’s precisely those discouraging times that prove you’re a writer.

17 Comments

Natasa Lekic

I think we’re actually going to do that, thanks for the zazzle recommendation. Do you like this design or should we have it redone by a pro?

Reply
T.S. Leonard

So cool! If you’re going to print it then it would be interesting to see what could come out of a design contest. You’ve done the hard part in figuring out the logic. I’d definitely promote the contest.

Reply
Sara Mia

It’s extremely difficult to accept the fact that there are a lot of books published and doing well in the charts because the authors are Reality TV stars, faux celebrities writing tell-all books or some sort of biography written by ghost writers. It’s discouraging and demotivating at times– you feel like you need to be selling yourself or be wealthy in order to publish anything!! Need hope!!

Reply
Natasa Lekic

Hi Sara, Most of those books don’t actually do very well. If you take a look at the New York Times bestseller list, you won’t find a reality TV star or faux celebrity anywhere. The top 20 list in paperback non-fiction doesn’t have a single biography of that kind: http://nyti.ms/11ysLRL

Perhaps these books generate some buzz initially, but it usually doesn’t translate into longterm, healthy sales. What actually does well is a well-written book. It’s up to you and your laptop, Sara.

Reply
Catherine Blakemore

This is brilliant. I’m ordering my poster now. Perfect wall decoration for my college dorm next semester.

Reply
Natasa Lekic

We couldn’t be happier, your poster is on the way! Could you be so kind as to send a picture when you get the poster up on the wall? It would be a perfect shot for the website.

Thanks, enjoy!

Danilo Lekic
danilo@nybookeditors.com

Reply
Natasa Lekic

Whoops! We have to change that.
Where’s a copyeditor when you need one?

Reply
Natasa Lekic

A map to get out of Poet’s Block? That sounds like a challenge. Let’s see if we can rise to the occasion.

Reply
HE

The map is going to help me out a lot, I get writer’s block far to often. Though usually it’s trying to figure out how to put my thoughts into words that I struggle with… I picture the motions and what’s happening in my head but I just can’t figure out how to put the events into coherent enough words… Any advice for that?

Reply

Leave a comment