Today’s Writing Tip

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If your plot gets stuck, research often helps to get it moving again. Details add credibility to your story and can also provide new plot angles. It never hurts if your reader learns something along the way, whether it’s about the setting or the protagonist’s job.

For example, if you’re writing a mystery, knowledge of police procedure is important, particularly forensics. Getting it wrong will throw readers who know better out of the story and your credibility is lost. The same goes for any other profession. This is where writing what you know works best, unless you’re willing to learn about others through talking to someone or research.

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Today’s Writing Tip

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Once a story gets rolling, writer’s block is rare. If you get stuck, perhaps you took a wrong turn somewhere with either the character or plot. Forcing a character to do something s/he resists can be a good sign that the character has come alive. In this case, you can often turn him or her loose to see what s/he wants to do. New plot twists can come out that will surprise even you! If you don’t know what’s going to happen next, you can bet your readers probably won’t, either!

If your plot hits a wall, taking a break to do some research will often open things up again.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Sometimes the hardest part of writing a novel or story is getting it started. If you feel stuck, work on developing your characters individually. This not only can get your creative juices flowing, but inspire new ideas of how they fit into the story and contribute to the plot.

Every story should start with a premise, which can usually be stated as a “What if?” statement. How that is developed will be further explored in a basic outline, which can lead to a chapter outline.

This is not a necessity. All authors develop their own style, not only of how they put words on the page, but how their story gets written. Some maybe start at chapter one, page one, while others may write the epilogue first, or jump all around as their muse dictates.

Don’t force yourself into a modus operandi that doesn’t feel comfortable. Trying them all when you first start out, however, will help you find what fits your style. Once that is identified, you’ll discover your own ways of overcoming writer’s block.