Now let’s talk about a word that every writer has or will become familiar with. And that word is “Frustration.”
At one time or another, in every writer’s life, this word and its meaning will pop its ugly head right into the middle of your writing! Let’s think of it, as what it really is, or at least what it is commonly called by authors that have experienced it: Writer’s block. This comes at a time when you’re going along and everything is flowing and then out of nowhere, you lose the scenes that are playing in your head! Did I say scenes? I believe I did. Because that is how the best authors write novels!
Non-fiction is a whole different ballgame where things are mapped out, written down, and categorized into a set plan. Fiction, on the other hand, requires you to use a different technique. Think of it as watching a movie. But the movie is not on screen or on the television. It is playing in your head! Until you learn to create these movies in your mind and the ability to detail what you are seeing, it becomes an almost impossibility to write good fiction.
You probably already do this. It is called daydreaming. If you were a normal kid and the school year was coming to an end, if you didn’t daydream about the summer just ahead of you, well then, you are not normal.
Try this little lesson. Think of one of your favorite things to do when you were younger. Because many great writers are still in their teens, you may be one of these.
If you live, as I do, on the West Coast, daydreaming often entails going to the beach. There are so many variations of things people like to do, so just think about one of those things that fit your particular life.
Now close your eyes, and imagine that you are at that favorite place. If you normally go with friends, picture them. Think about the perfect day. This may take a little practice given your particular life, but soon you’ll be able to make this little scene in your mind quite easily.
Once you are able to picture this scene in your mind, then add sound, trying to imagine what people might say, not only to you, but to others. And then, try to write it in detail so that the scene comes alive on paper.
I started this by talking about frustration, or writer’s block as we authors like to call it. I, myself, seldom get writer’s block. But as you learned in the last blog, this can be overcome by writing about anything that comes to mind. I’m not pretending that it’s an easy thing to overcome. Before you sit down, imagine the scene, and let it play out in your mind. If you can’t imagine the scene at that moment, go do something else, and while you’re doing something else, as long as you don’t get so absorbed trying to create a scene that you run off the road if you’re driving, you’ll be surprised how everything starts working out again.
I must confess. I have taken time off for as much as a month at a time when things were not flowing like they should. I don’t try to push it. I just let things happen, and before long the scenes start coming back and I am able to write with an intensity that I wasn’t able to before.