Monday, June 28, 2010

Resource Roundup: Curing Writer's Block

As writers, we're supposed to write. It's what we do--until something malfunctions and we can't seem to pen anything more substantial than a grocery list. When that happens, there are a variety of ways to jump start our muses. Jesse Young is giving a list of fifty ideas in seven posts on Peevish Penmen (my favorite is in the second installment--Playing with Crayons. Taking out my frustrations in vivid red just appeals to me).

My overall favorite way to get myself going again is through prompts. Here's a list of sites I've used (some we've even used here on AuthorCulture for our writing contests):

Archetype Writing's Plot Scenario Generator, Character Generator, and Everyday Problem Generator (because "nobody's life is perfect").

I particularly like the problem generator. The one I landed on when getting the link was: "Your character has problems with impatience, is afraid of dependence on others, and can't stand meeting new people. Also wishes the world were free of witchcraft."

Dr. Wicked's Write or Die is an evil little devise that punishes you if your fingers stop pecking the keys. Everyone has to try this at least once. It's great for free-styling.

Dragon Writing Prompts throws visuals into the mix. For interesting variations, look through the Categories listed in the sidebar.

Andrew Bosley's Brainstormer is a roulette style wheel where you can mix and match theme, setting and character. (Andrew has also developed an app for this. See our right sidebar.)

Creativity Portal has a great list of sites that provide writers prompts, grouped by prompt topic, and The Book Chook has a list of sites designed to get kids interested in writing.

Of course, a good search can produce a boatload of prompt generators and sites, but don't waste too much time going through them--you're supposed to be writing!

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  1. Dr. Wicked's Write or Die is sheer genius.

  2. I love Dr. Wicked. I got the desk top edition, but can't find the crazy download button thingy. :P

  3. Dr. Wicked is one of my favorites too, not for a WIP, but for blog posts or just getting myself started.

  4. I loved the crayon idea, too. One time, when I was stuck on my story, I went to my dad's house. He and I grabbed scratch paper and drew ships and worked out all the details of the most difficult part of my book. Visualizing it changed the plot, I never could have done it on my own. I kept the drawings.

    Now, when I get stuck, I doodle out a scene or two, it helps.

  5. What a cool idea, Carrie! I think I'm going to take up doodling.