Turning the story in your head into words on a page

So as I’ve started fletching out my story/game, writing up the scenes slowly to judge how I want to proceed with the script, I’ve noticed that I often have to stop in the middle of that flowing process of writing because I’ve had no idea how the hell I was going to formulate what I imagined in my head into words and sentences. This is coming from someone who is not a native English speaker, although I am perfectly fluent.

It always throws me off my rhythm of writing, and I’ve only made progress in small starts as a result. I was wondering if other non-native speaking authors had any advice on how to overcome this? I’m aware that reading a lot of books and expanding my vocabulary will help, but if you have any other tricks that help you over those bumps, I think I and many other aspiring authors would greatly appreciate it :)) thank you


It happens to everyone and there is no standard solution. If it is the first draft the best advise I can give you is just force yourself to write. Screw if it’s rubbish, 90% of the times you’ll have to rewrite it anyway.
If nothing works, just take a break and relax


As a non native English speaker, what you describe seems more like writer’s block than something to do with the language.
Writing is a creative process, there’s no formula applicable to everyone, some like listening to music, some like to drink coffee, and inspiration can come from everything and nothing.
I guess that the best thing to do to get better at it is to try to learn from the pros and practice as much as you can.


Yea I guess maybe it’s not much to do with language now that you say it🧐, been in a creative slump for a while now, maybe thats affecting my writing idk. I guess a solution is to, as you said, force myself to write, until eventually something clicks. As a perfectionist it’s especially hard for me to write drafts and move one without polishing it up and writing it “perfect” the first time, but all that takes to fix is discipline ig
Thanks for your replies


Yeah, I can feel that too. And I ended up rewriting entire chapters down the line, so don’t dwell too much on it. You’ll inevitably learn a lot more as you go, and those perfect things you wrote will look way different then. That’s just how it happens (for me at least)

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Well, as another not-native English speaker, I must say it can be a language issue as well. I’ve had both. The language problem, for me, usually takes the form of “how on Earth do you say that in English?” which is very annoying as of itself and can take a good while to solve too… in case you have one of those, my advice would be to just write whatever comes to mind that is passable for the portion in question, and then fix it later after you’ve figured out the correct phrasing.


When I can’t think of a way to write something I take a break. Do something else for a while and come back. While I’m sure there are people who might be able to write for long period of time on one sitting I just can’t.

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What has worked for me is adding what i need to happen in a particular scene in brackets. If i’m not sure how to put my thoughts into words, or if i know how to describe something in spanish yet i’m not sure how to translate it into english, i just write the general gist in spanish and leave it for later. That way i don’t break the flow and i can keep riding the creative wave so to speak.

To avoid writer’s block i’ve been writing 5 days a week, 2-4 hours top. I think forcing myself to write at least 1k words per day did more ill than good in the long run :sweat_smile: In fact, i’ve been using these vids to keep myself focused.

Hope it helps :grin:


Hah! Yea this happens to me a lot, like a LOT. “How tf do you rephrase this saying to English so it makes illegible sense¿?”

Thank you @pimenita! Your advice will be taken to heart. Ig it feels weird to write with mixed language, but it should be easier then to go back and translate properly

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start out small, I mean REALLY small. 500 words a day.

simple enough to do and you wont need to sit for hours to force yourself to write. it’ll be slow but slow and consistent is better than getting a burst of writing 5000 words in 1 night and then not touching your game again for 2 and a half monrhs.

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I’ve run often into this problem but that’s also due to the fact that I haven’t ever planned a story from start to finish. Or, even if I had attempted to, I later abandoned my first concept because I found it no longer fit my vision of the story I wanted to tell or the way I wanted the characters to evolve.

What usually helps me keep my writing flow:

  • Build an emotionally resonant foundation for inspiration: I tend to make playlists for my stories and listen to them while writing or just when I’m in the mood. Other people make art or collect fitting inspirational pictures and quotes. Just any source you can draw inspiration from whenever you may need it.

  • Read! Personally, I don’t primarily read to expand my vocabulary (but it helps) but in order to see how other writers pull off certain things. Subject matter I wouldn’t even know how to approach in the first place. Or stuff that makes my brain tingle because I never thought about something in that way. I read to discover what I like or find interesting in order to find better ways to emulate my own preferences. Because, hey, if I myself like it, that’s already enough to keep going. YMMV, though.

  • Read! 2.0 Depending on your interests and whatever you want to write/achieve with your writing, you may try reading different things to broaden your horizon. Fiction, poetry, news articles, and scientific studies. Immerse yourself in the English language. Example: Every foreign show I watch, I watch with English subtitles. I didn’t start it because I wanted to learn the language, it’s just because subtitles in my first language always struck me as weird.

  • If you’re unsure about phrasing or just cannot find the perfect sentence/paragraph, start with a bad or mediocre one. Don’t be afraid of mediocrity. I consider the majority of stuff I’ve written to be mediocre – and that’s okay. Obviously, I’m not trying to be an auteur. But even if you’re wanting to be one in the future… As cliché as it may sound, every winner was once a beginner. You’ll grow and you’ll get better. Lean into your strengths, confront and work on your weaknesses. That said, I still struggle with writing descriptions every day of my life.

  • Last but not least: If you’re seriously wondering if what your writing makes sense, consider getting somebody (maybe a native speaker, if you’re genuinely worried about your language proficiency) to give you feedback on your writing. Or just talk about the most important bits with somebody. That way, you’ve already translated some of your concepts into words and it shouldn’t feel as hard to subsequently bring them onto a page.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for the expansive advice !! I resonate well with using other media as a source of inspiration to write on, I’ve recently gotten into drawing again as I was wanting to visualize the characters :))
I will definitely be reading a lot of works along with my writing process for my project. surprisingly I found a lot of inspiration from ancient Edgar Allen Poe lyric and obscure nonfiction books lol. You never know where you might find a muse

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I found my muse in AI. Its great to deal with blocks/lack of time writing.


Good evening ChatGPT! Please wrire me a CYOA game in ChoiceScript with a age of sailing managencial theme where you play as male or female in a portuary kingdom named Kalisport inspired in XVI century Western Europe:

This is a ChoiceScript game:

*temp title "heir"
*if genre = "female"
  *set title "heiress"

*label start_game
You are a noble ${title} at the seaside kingdom of Kalisport, the year is 1555 and the Crown Prince, Sebastian, just give you a grant to you found your own Trading Company. He has given you the humble amount of 1000 Ducats and commands you to buy your first ship and initiate your first sea route:

What do you want to do now?

  #Go to the Bank.
    You go to the local moneylender to borrow or deposit more money.
    *goto bank
  #Go to shipyard 
    Here you can buy or commision your own sailing ship! As well as repair or remodel your existent ones.
    *goto shipyard 
  #Go the marketplace 
    Here you can see a list of the products being offered at this port. As well as the price list for products from other ports abroad.
    *goto marketplace
  #Go to the tavern
    Here you can enlist your sailor crew and look for experienced sailors or unemployed captains for your company activities.  As well as hear gossip about prices and goods from abroad.
    *goto bar

*label bank
This is the Kalisport branch of the Medici Bank. What are your

And there goes on…