Screenwriting 101: Writer’s Block – When You Just Can’t Think

Writer’s block happens to everyone, but there are ways to coax the muse out of hiding

By Brock Cooper (doddleNEWS)

Writing is a very flow oriented process. When you get going, you can go for hours and hours without stopping. Your fingers dance frenzied across the keyboard, putting your soul onto paper for the world to eventually see on the big screen. Those are the good days. Those are the days where the stars align and everything just falls into place. It’s known as writer’s block.

There are other days when you stare at the computer screen for hours trying to pull out a single word. The idea is there. The motivation is there. The words are not. This is what’s commonly referred to as writer’s block and is something every writer from journalism to screenwriter experiences every now and then.

When the muse has not only moved out, but rented a condo in another country, you have to figure your way out of writer’s block on your own.

Take A Break

If it’s just not coming out of you, then take a break and get away from it for a while. Get outside, make a meal, do anything you can to get your mind off the story. After a few hours come back and see if clearing your head has cured the writer’s block. Sometimes the best thing is to just get away from the computer for a while and decompress.

Write An Idea Tree

One of the hardest parts of writing is putting everything together into a cohesive and complete story. A writing tree lets you see how different avenues will play out from a central idea. Start with a broad idea or subject and start branching action and plot devices off if it. Keep branching until you find one that works for you.

Do Some Writing Exercises

When the words aren’t flowing for one story, try switching to another you are working on. If that’s the only story, then try some random writing exercises. The exercises are easy to do and will help unclog your brain. If you do a great job with the writing exercises, you might even get a new story idea out of it. When you’ve done a few, try going back to the original story and see if things are any easier.

Do Some Physical Exercises

An active body is a creative body. We spend way too much time sitting on our butts typing on a keyboard. If you’re stuck, then take a hike at a nearby park or run a mile or so. If you’re like me and abhor running, then some Wii tennis, baseball or bowling is the perfect and enjoyable active escape.

Get Some Sleep

If you’ve been sitting at the computer for hours and hours and you can barely keep your eyes open, then take a nap to re-energize your body. It doesn’t have to be very long, a power nap of 20 minutes works well. With your body rested, the words may start flowing out of you.

The good news about writer’s block is that it is rarely ever permanent. Eventually, you’ll be able to release your inner bard and write the next great Oscar-winning screenplay. Okay, the next great B-movie horror film.

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About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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