Thursday, 17 March 2011

Workshop: Defeating Writer's Block

I have several ways to defeat writer's block. Here's an exercise that you might find useful.

First of all, grab your pen and paper, or your PC, or your typewriter. Choose whatever medium and/or instrument you feel most comfortable in. However, if you have been doing that and are still having writer's block, try switching media instead. Sometimes something as simple as changing from blue to black ink, or moving from paper to PC, can be enough to get that spark going again.

Then switch off the TV and kill all distractions. Seclude yourself if need be.

The Exercise
Take an object. Something that interests you. First of all begin describing that object in purely physical terms. Describe it exactly as you sense it, using as many of the five senses as possible.

Next describe how the object might change over time. Does it stay locked in a bottom drawer until discovered years later by a nosy teen, who then learns something that changes them? Does it wither and die? Does it become something better?

Alternatively, go backwards. Delve into memory. What was the item doing in the past? Who held it? Why? What significance does it have?

Finally, give the object context. Where is it? How does it relate to that space? How does it reflect upon its owner or its surroundings? What is the impact of the object upon the lived world?

Send me your writing samples and I will critique them on here (in a constructive way, of course).

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