Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Writer's Block? Try This.

I don't recommend trying to post to your character blog everday, unless you're some kind of masochist. In that case, knock yourself out. And really, who am I to judge if you are?

As I've stated before, I do post daily on the Yoda blog for my own reasons (unrelated to masochism). For a while, it was becoming harder and harder to think up things to post about. For all my preaching early on about how you should "know your character so well that you can close your eyes and imagine... (blah, blah, blah)", I was still having trouble. It got to where I would sit up late at night for a couple of hours staring at a blank screen, dozing in and out of sleep until I found myself typing with my nose.

Then, I started using the following technique, and it has worked very well for me. Now, from the time when I sit down to start on my blog until I finish sometimes takes me only half an hour or less. The reason I bring it up is that I'm interested if this would work for anyone else. So, for anyone who's interested, please feel free to give this a try. If you do, let me know if it works for you:

-Instead of trying to think up an entire story line or outline of your post before you start to write, just start typing. Type anything. Just make it so that it's in your character's "voice".
-At this point, don't be concerned about writing anything "usable". I suppose it's possible that you could write as many as ten paragraphs before you come to what the actual beginning of your post will be.
-Keep writing until you achieve a stream of consciousness or something comes out that triggers a story in your head.
-Write that story until completion without stopping to edit or doing anything else that would interrupt your stream of consciousness.
-Once finished, edit what you've written and take out the unusable stuff you wrote before you got to your actual post.

If any of you try this, please let me know if it worked for you. Maybe I'm a little weird and it works only for me. That's OK. Either way, I'd like to know.

I'd also be interested to hear how the rest of you who post every day or almost every day think up things to write about. How do you work through Writer's Block (if you get it)? Let us know in the comments.

And by the way, make sure to help Chelley/Noel (Noelly? Choel?) figure out a name for her new ship (see post below).


Blogger General Grievous said...

I just continue on a story line from the previous post or think of what could happen for a storyline - my latest story line has covered 13 posts in 15 parts - ther's 2 more posts to go

October 19, 2005 6:07 PM  
Blogger Chancellor Palpatine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 19, 2005 7:03 PM  
Blogger Chancellor Palpatine said...

It's interesting that I write most of my posts in exactly the same way as you have described. It seems to work pretty well actually. It's finding the time to begin with that is the hardest part of the process.

As far as getting through writer's block...sorry...haven't worked out how to get through that yet.

4:03 PM

October 19, 2005 7:04 PM  
Blogger Captain Typho said...

Lately I've been starting by writing the last sentence and working backwards.

October 19, 2005 9:36 PM  
Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I do all kinds of things. I have a few posts that are almost ready for publish, I have several with just a title and a couple keywords so I know what I want to write later. The finale where Jon is talking to Sinew Nu was written weeks ago and I was just waiting to off Jo Jo. I have others that are partially written or need editing or whatever.

I had a dry spell where I wasn't sure what to do for a while, but now I feel like I am totally chugging along.

Also, I am doing more multipart stories. I'm having fun doing several setups with a little kicker at the end. In my oppinion, readers often prefer shorter posts, it make a nice, quick read then makes 'em come back the next day.

Another technique is to find a picture and write a post around it, or make a "photo album" post. I've done that several times and I've had fun doing it.

October 19, 2005 10:34 PM  
Blogger Master Yoda said...

Michellepho's method about writing the last sentence first is pretty interesting. I may try that some time.

October 19, 2005 10:47 PM  
Blogger Tahl said...

I don't understand how it's possible to write without having an idea of where it's going. What do you write?

October 20, 2005 2:06 AM  
Blogger Master Yoda said...

Just stray thoughts. For yesterday's post, I started with, "Put up with this nonsense anymore I can not."

I didn't know what nonsense Yoda was talking about yet, so I wrote, "Expect me to take how much more of this, do they?"

By the time I got to the end of the paragraph, it came to me that Yoda was talking about Karaoke.

Next question - who would sing what songs, and why would it be so torturous to listen to them?

After I answered that, and completed some minor editing, I had a post. But if you notice, even though the first two sentences were the catalyst for the post, I ended up choosing not to use them.

October 20, 2005 8:27 AM  
Blogger flu said...

The main thing is to just write about anything - observations, peeves, warm fuzzies, even nothing at all.

It's strange how writing just for the sake of writing - even when there is no direction - leads somewhere every time.

If'n I had writer's block - I'd write about it.

October 20, 2005 10:37 AM  
Blogger Master Yoda said...

Writer's block is for amateurs.
-Charles Schultz (Cartoonist, Peanuts)

They say the difference between amateur writers and professional writers when it comes to writer's block is that the amateur will get up and do something else then return to their work later. A professional will sit and work through it.

October 20, 2005 10:46 AM  
Blogger Captain Typho said...

I write my best stuff when I'm supposed to be doing something else.

Jon, I have a similar thing regarding pictures. I find that making the image that goes with my post first helps me write the post.

Tahl, Bill/Yoda's method doesn't work for me either. I often start with an incident, activity, mood and/or setting and from there I speculate on Typho's reactions to these elements. Sometimes the story I end up with is very different from what I had envisioned.

October 20, 2005 11:58 AM  
Blogger JawaJuice said...

I usually have a seed of an idea that sounds amusing and just write blindly knowing only the topic. Sometimes the topic will just surround an amusing picture. I agree that you just got to write through any blocks, although that can be pretty frustrating. I don’t know though, lately I just don’t think my stuff is that humorous. I’ve kind of lost my comedic edge.

October 20, 2005 12:12 PM  
Blogger Master Yoda said...

I think it was Mort Walker(cartoonist, Beetle Bailey) said that when you've done a lot of good work, but hit a plateau of mediocrity, that means you're about to make a break-through and will take your work to the next level.

I don't know how true that is, but sounds good.

October 20, 2005 1:01 PM  
Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

It's gotta be true, Beetle Bailey's the funniest lazy-soldier-getting-beat-up-by-the-mean-sarge comic that I've ever read.

October 20, 2005 1:27 PM  
Blogger Leia said...

For me, it's always hard to come up with a good ending. I think I'll try out Michelles way.

Sometimes authors come up with completely random sentences that turn into a whole book. Thake The Hobbit and The Gunslinger for example.

October 20, 2005 5:14 PM  
Blogger Captain Typho said...

Leia, if you like using random ideas as writing prompts, try the random generators on the Seventh Sanctum site.

I like the Writing Challenge Generator.

October 20, 2005 7:49 PM  
Blogger Mace Windu said...

I kind of relate it to something I did that day, like the yearly jedi picnic, i actually went to a yearly church picnic and we chased each other with water guns so I added that in the post but used our characters.

October 21, 2005 8:11 PM  
Blogger Noel of Neptonian said...

Noelly...I like it.

So where do I get my ideas. Actually I really don't know. I just get these ideas and go with it. Most of the time I come up with what I want to write when I'm at work.
I also have kind of a story plan for my character. However it can change at the last moment, like with the resort ship. Before, I wasn't planning on having a resort ship, just a really nice one. But then at work I got to thinking it would be cool to have resort so there can be some interaction between blogs.

I don't know if it will work... I hope it does.

And I want to make a small point. I know my blog isn't as exciting or as funny as say most of yours. But I'm still learning, you see this is my first attempt at writing any kind of story. I still have the hunt-and-peck thing going.

I enjoy writing this blog as much as I enjoy reading all of yours. Some of them are so funny, even when I think about them hours latter they make me smile. I just wish I could be funny...OHHH well.

And thanks for allowing me in your litte group, eventho I'm not a real Star Wars character.

Ohh by the way, I haven't ran into any serious writters block...YET.

October 22, 2005 4:26 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I take the easy way out - since I am following the story line from the movies, it's easier for me to come up with ideas. ;-) I just have to give them Padme's voice and spin it. And I am trying to embellish with some outside stories, too, as they come to me.

I get frustrated because you all write such good stories that I want to include my take on and it's tough to fit them into the movie timeline. For example, Padme & Anakin have been on the verge of going to Tatooine for weeks, but you all keep having these fun parties that bring us back to Coruscant!

I do get stumped on how to make my posts funny - that is really hard for me. And time is a major limiting factor for me.

October 22, 2005 11:10 AM  
Blogger Captain Typho said...

I don't really try to be funny. I suck at comedy. If there's anything amusing in my blog it's usually by accident.

October 22, 2005 12:48 PM  
Blogger Master Yoda said...

There's no need to be funny. I say play to your strengths.

Though, to be frank, it is probably much easier to increase traffic by being really funny, that doesn't mean a blog that excels in drama, action, or characterization isn't just as good or maybe even better.

October 22, 2005 10:45 PM  

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