Ideas for Dealing with Writer's Block?


#1

So… I am the master of procrastination and pushing things aside for later. I have been working on my game for over 5 years, I believe, probably even more. I have the beginning, middle and end already plotted out and have the outcomes of every character in mind already. Problem is that it’s been over 5 years, and so far all I have written is a good chunk of the first chapter finished, not even long enough for a beta test, and I already feel like this story isn’t going anywhere. Alongside total revamps and multiple hiatuses, it just seems I’ve never been in the perfect spot to complete this story. Sometimes it feels like my story won’t ever see the light of day.

I have had five year long writer’s block and the moment I actually went out of my way to start the story, I was hit with it again.

Is there anything you guys do whenever you’re hit with this problem? Not only for my sake but maybe for other people who might be suffering from this same thing. Are you guys in a similar situation? Do you have it worse then me? One thing that sort of has been working for me is to just stop writing altogether and start rereading chunks of the story that I feel the most proud of writing and pray that my past self could inspire my present self to continue writing.


#2

I have a routine that I do to alleviate this very problem.

1:Music, try listening to some music that doesn’t have lyrics . this makes mental processes not become confused with the lyrics and you still reap the benefits . Kyle Landry has a youtube channel , and he does many wonderful covers with his piano.

2: Try reading up on some writing prompts. I know this sounds bad but trust me , I have made this a regular routine. I look up story starters (Basically the first line in a story), Au writing prompts, dialogue prompts. Also, I have a website that is full of writing prompts that are promptly organized by genre, subject and then also subplots.

http://www.writepop.com/science-fiction-story-ideas/science-fiction-story-ideas-1001-story-starters-you-can-use

3: Caffeine . Coffee , tea, doesn’t matter how you get it just get it fast. If you can’t have caffeine try juice and a lite snack.

4: Reading something you love. Whether it’s interactive fiction, a book, texts, news reports. Just read.

5: write something that relates to something you’ve experienced. Maybe write something relatable and place it into an outrageous setting with equally strange characters.

Just off the top of my mind. Hope this helps , good luck fellow writer.


#3

Hey xBD, I have the same problem. I few years ago I started developing a MASSIVE world full of complex plots and character development with centuries of in-depth well thought out lore that could easily be written and playable all canon. It’s pretty unique and I feel like it would definitely go somewhere considering I’ve spent about 4 or 5 years developing it, like you. However, the sheer scale of my own world intimidates me and I never want to simply sit down and start writing it. I tried once and got about 10,000 words in, a few good chapters, however, being the perfectionist that I am I wasn’t happy with it and decided to scrap what I had.

I am currently writing another, much more manageable game that I actually concocted by playing around with some ideas from my original story. If I wanted to, which I might do in the future depending on where it goes, I could easily make it canon to the original.

Maybe try something similar and approach your story through smaller fragments. Definitely use a technique all writers use by not writing the most exiting parts all at once because then you wont have the motivation to fill in the less exciting parts, space yourself out. Write shorter pieces of your story with build up and then a climax and when you have a few individual stories put together try and piece them together!


#5

Give a friend a whip and tell them to use whenever they see you lazying about. :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously though I think the most important thing you can do in these situations is trying to keep your cool. Sometimes forcing your brain into doing something it doesn’t want to only makes matters worse. Take a deep breath, have some time off doing whatever you enjoy without worrying so much about what to write. Good ideas usually come when you least expect them… like lost things.


#6

That’s super interesting. I’ve never considered listening to songs without lyrics when I write. I’ve always listened to whatever was on my phone or on YouTube and just wrote away. Maybe this can help me out a lot more.

I’ve tried writing prompts in the past. I’d mostly get them from tumblr but I never felt comfortable working with them because I always felt super awkward writing them up and I would get frustrated writing. Maybe it’s just something I have to force myself to do


#7

It’s scary the similarities between us :joy:

The story that I’m writing is a sci-fi adventure within this ancient planet with complicated government systems and just complicated characters and history in general. I’ve never been more proud of it and it’s something that I can’t wait to share with everyone but I always get stuck writing whenever I decidea to start writing lol

I considered starting a new story and even thought of a good plot for this new managable story but I’m not even sure if I wanna aband on my first story just yet


#8

It’s a fact that almost al my good/ridiculous ideas come from either sleep deprivation , or pure zen. One of these is miles easier to achieve than the other.

@TheMaker I have a horrible habit of going on a walk and being gone for hours on end because the story progresses the more I walk. I honestly have at least four different plot lines for team zero. It gets so out of hand, I have like this giant team zero/ Diabolical cross over.

@xBD Yeah same. I only noticed a few years back that I kept writing words from the song in my writing , Which caused me to constantly have to go back and revise. I have a taste for the instrumental pieces , if you find yourself to not have such a taste try techno.


#9

I used to write and listen to techno, it’s a habit I need to pick up again I guess. Maybe since I’m writing sci-fi I could listening to some edm or something lol

Do you have MADD by any chance? Walking arouND my house and just creating new plot ideas or twists or developments is something I do a lot haha


#10

Walking and creating AUs is my favorite pastime. I can’t help it, interactive fiction basically was just like a gateway drug for this sort of thing.


#11

IME, there are really two kinds of writer’s block (though they often overlap):

  1. I have no idea what to write next.
  2. My idea sucks; there’s no point in writing that.

They often manifest as the same idea: “I have no good idea what to write next.”

For #1, re-read what you’ve already written. For #2, write it anyway and fix it later if/when you have a better idea. Just sitting down and typing is good for that kind of writer’s block.

We published a blog post on depression a few years back that’s relevant to #2 writer’s block. Depression often manifests as the feeling that nothing is fun and everything sucks, which can look like #2 writer’s block. https://www.choiceofgames.com/2011/03/five-tactics-for-designing-games-while-depressed/


Self-discipline when writing
#12

Yeah, my problem is usually #2. I have the story already in mind and I already know which direction I want my story to go. Sometimes I feel like I’m a writing genius and kiss my writing because I’m so proud of it.

But then there’s times where everything I write looks like poop and that’s usually where my writing block hits me hard


#13

the mind and the pen are two different things. I think we all suffer from that. If you want to put everything just right try keeping a thesaurus nearby for perfect words. It also expands vocabulary.


#14

My biggest fear is becoming too reliant on the thesaurus, and having my writing look too “purple prose-ey” I think I’m confident enough with my writing the extent of my vocabulary that I don’t need one, since I’ve probably only used it about once or twice throughout my writing career.

I thinks it’s just a matter of my brain not wanting to cooperate with me when I try to write


#15

Write.

Best thing for writer’s block? Write.

I don’t care if your first paragraph was beautiful prose and your second is “The cat went and sat on the mat. It was cool. Jane walked over to the fridge and saw a note on the fridge. It said:”. I don’t give one single shit.

Plot and direction is important and everything else comes later. As long as you have a general idea of where you’re going, everything will fall into place soon enough. Just bullshit it. Just write the first couple things that come to mind.

They don’t have to be perfect intriguing plot points. They don’t have to be cliché-breakers. They don’t have to be insightful world-building or detailed description. Get the main shit down and carry on. Keep going. You can always come back on the second draft.

Don’t know what to do? Ask what is most likely to happen, and what is least likely to happen. Ask yourself what your characters might do in that situation, and what you might do. Jot that down, see which one might start something, and keep going.

Ask yourself about senses. Sight, touch, taste, smell. What your characters might be sensing. What the outside world might be seeing. What thoughts characters might be thinking, even, in reaction to that. Jot each sense down. Which one is more interesting?

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. There are always going to be dips and slows and plot holes in anything. Anything, even the most masterful classics. Keep going.


#16

oh my god that’s beautiful


#17

I cannot write. It is so extremely frustrating. I’m so out of practice.

I found doing my fifteen minute challenges once a day really helped. And usually I’d do a bit more than fifteen minutes. It may seem like a small amount but it was manageable and fun.

If it’s a lack of creativity that’s the issue, I’ve found going out and walking helps me there.

But yeah, I miss the days when I could just sit down and write for hours. When writing was almost an addiction and every bit as easy as breathing.

That was one of the things I absolutely loved about Choice of Games, even before I joined the forums. That you tackle stuff like writing with depression.


#18

It’s not a perfect solution, but if you just want to write and you don’t care what, I found it much easier to rewrite and improve older works when I was struggling with new stuff. It helps because the world and characters and plot and most of the content is already there for you, you can just focus on improving it. That way you’re getting something written and you don’t feel as bad. That’s what I’m doing now, on and off. I finished my last novel a few months ago and was having trouble with new projects so I went back to an old one. Using that as a template I was able to write again, and a lot of it was new, and I was getting inspired once more. I don’t know if it’s good advice, but it might help some people.


#19

Agreed! Going back and “editing” older writing has often helped my mindset and motivation in regard to new material.


#20

The last project I actually finished I only finished because I spent a single week writing like a possessed madman, didn’t really care about how good it was, just wanted to get the plot down on “paper”. I spent the next year going through every paragraph and perfecting it. I haven’t managed to get back into that mindset of “just write it all down and fix it later” since then, and I’ve accomplished squat in the last several years. Definitely one of the best things to do is just write. Can’t think of what happens next? Make something up. Anything. Even if its the most cliched, boring, terribly written thing in the world, get passed the issue and to the next point you’re sure of. When it’s all done, then you can go back to that part and revise it, coming up with better ideas. Heck, just powering through that rough spot and working on the next good plot point you have in mind might be enough to get the juices flowing.


#21

I’m not alone! I’ve been writing various novels and stories for around 6 years and now that I want to finish them all, there are too many! So I don’t have a routine or anything, but I actually go and play my favorite CoG Games first. Idk about you, but the Heroes Rise Trilogy gets me in a writing mood. I look at the other games and think about how this game could be mine. Another person could gain inspiration from my game, like I’m doing now. Or I just like to reduce the stress of my writer’s block by relaxing.

2.) I make myself so happy, I have to do something with myself. We all have those things that makes us cry with happiness, and I’ve found that I have a need to do something with myself in that state so I write. Certainly kicks you into gear. xD

3.) Music, and not your favorite songs either. Listen to what I like to call, epic music. I’ll leave a link. But basically it’s songs from key points in video games or very fantasy and inspirational music. I have one song that every time I hear it, I relax no matter what mood I’m in. That song in Ivan Torrent’s Icarus. Blood Red Roses Is extremely good and fantasy based. Here are the links to my two favorite compilations.
If ever you need music definitely listen to anything written by C21 FX.
Here and the links, enjoy!
Link One(emotional vocal music):


Link Two(epic fantasy music):

Icarus(cuz I must spread this song like a disease it’s so nice):


Blood Red Roses:

You might also like music from the Witcher 3, as it’s very fantasy based, hers my fav, Wolven Storm:


Hope you don’t mind the long post, and they help!