Writer’s block used to kick my butt like nobody’s business, pushing me into complacency so much so I’d have no idea what to write for months. And now writer’s block is getting its butt kicked by me like nobody’s business! >:)

It’s so surprisingly easy with these three methods I’ve discovered in writing To the DeathHora: Everything I Never Said, and working on my scene outline. They might assist you in kicking writer’s block’s butt, too!

METHOD #1: FOR VISUAL THINKERS (LIKE ME)

If you’re like me, you use your imagination a lot.

And if you’re even more like me, you use it all the time.

Literally: I fall asleep daydreaming scenes from Warfare (and sometimes acting them out. Yeah, in my bed.). I zone out during political rants at church by imagining my Warfare characters fighting on the stage. I see Scriptures when reading my Bible in my time with God that are perfect theme verses for my characters. And there’s not a single song I listen to that doesn’t fit some scene in my series that’s not perfect for imagining a Warfare music video too.

When I was writing chapter 18 of To the Death, writer’s block began kicking my butt again. I had no idea what should happen next, because I was a pantser then (though these methods will work for plotters and pantsers alike). I had no outline to kick writer’s block’s butt for me. My mind drew a blank, and I fell asleep for a few seconds after staring at the screen for so long.

But if you’re a visual thinker, don’t sit there waiting for an idea to come to you! You’re going to be sitting there, frustrated, for a very long time. My ideas have rarely ever come to me that way. All you have to do is start putting your mind to work and get your creative juices flowing, and that what-happens-next is solved for you! These are the five simple steps I came up with for chapter 18 and still use today:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Play what you have so far of the scene you’re writing in your mind. Visualize it like a movie. You may find it helpful to listen to a song that fits your scene while doing this (I did).
  3. When you get to the point you stopped writing and couldn’t figure out what to write next, don’t stop the movie in your head. Keep it going. Your mind is on a roll now. What do your characters do next, or what happens next to stimulate their reaction? What do they say?
  4. Take what your mind envisioned. Do you like this idea? Usually, my first or second attempts of brainstorming what-happens-next are keepers. If you don’t like your first idea, try the method again. What else do your characters do next? What else could happen next to stimulate a reaction? What else could they say?
  5. Does your new idea make sense within the plot? Is it vital to the plot? Does it advance it? If you removed it, would the plot still work?

METHOD #2: FOR DRAMA QUEENS (ALSO LIKE ME)

Madi Grace, Drama Mama.

That might be my title if I didn’t have Lit Jesus-Repping Demon-Slaying Devil Butt-Kicker (shortened to Devil Butt-Kicker) already. If I’m upset, the whole house is gonna know. If I feel like singing, the whole neighborhood is gonna hear. If I’m in pain, it’s going to be dramatized about 100% worse than it actually is. I take everything personally. Everyone is my rival. I adore epic war soundtracks (as well as the word epic). And there’s not a lot I like more than acting out my favorite epically dramatic scenes, usually in bed to help me fall asleep or in the shower.


I’m way too dramatic for my own good. 

Does that sound like you? Probably not, because I’m a really rare type of drama queen. I probably shouldn’t have included this method.

  1. Go into a private place where no one can see and get freaked out. The bathroom usually works for me, until my siblings ask who in the world I’m talking to.
  2. Act out what you already have written of the scene you’re stuck on.
  3. What does the hero / character do next? What happens to stimulate his reaction? What is said? Act it out like you’re in a movie. Don’t stop; keep things rolling, even if you have to switch roles or walk to the other side of the room if your characters are shouting at each other from separate sides of a canyon.
  4. Take what you just acted out. Do you like it? Are you excited to write it? Or are you too worn out from getting beaten up, slammed to the floor, and screaming dramatically (what usually happens to me when I act out my scenes. Although I whisper-scream, in which I end up sounding like a suffocating emu)? It’s good exercise, I know. If that idea doesn’t suit you and if you have enough energy from that epic fight scene, act it out again with different reactions and dialog.
  5. Does your new idea make sense within the plot? Is it vital to the plot? Does it advance it? If you removed it, would the plot still work?

METHOD #3: FOR LOGICAL THINKERS (my last resort when all else fails)

I don’t usually think in logical terms. Figuring out dates and word count percentages for my novel is always frustrating for me. And don’t get me started on my math grades, guys. No, seriously. Don’t.

But dramatic and imaginative as my brain is, I’ve found I’m at ease and relieved when I have a clear, logical way to solve things. When things are organized and clearly laid out, I can relax. They aren’t messy daydreams and fuzzy ideas in my head anymore. Now it’s clear: here’s the problem, here’s what to do to fix it. Have I mentioned the word “clear” yet? I don’t think I have.

  1. Open a new document or flip to a blank notebook page.
  2. What’s your problem? What are you trying to figure out?

    I labeled my document “Big Epic Mission Brainstorming”, the 25% of my book that I needed to have a clever, strategic, plot-twisty, oh-my-gosh-the-good-guy-is-really-the-bad-guy mission laid out. I had certain but very fuzzy emotions, ideas, and pictures in my head, and I didn’t know how to logically connect them all and have them make sense to me first.

  3. What do you know needs to be solved? Create a bullet list and write down every idea for that problem you can think of. Don’t stop. Even if the idea is stupid; throw all your creative dreaming, even with its multitude of wacky ideas, onto the page to find that gem or two of geniusness.

    I knew one of my the-good-guy-is-actually-the-bad-guy characters was going to be tortured for information that would advance the plot and launch the next few scenes. I needed to know what he was going to reveal so I could know what I needed to foreshadow and plant clues for.

  4. Which solution, idea (or set of ideas, as was my case of which things I needed that character to reveal) do you like best? If you like it, go for it. If you don’t, continue brainstorming.
  5. Does your new idea make sense within the plot? Is it vital to the plot? Does it advance it? If you removed it, would the plot still work?

WHAT I DO IF NONE OF THESE METHODS WORK:

  1. I figure out why. 100% of the time, for me, it’s because I’m not excited about a scene.
  2. I figure out what I need to do to fix it. I never write unless I’m excited about what I’m writing, otherwise I’d have to force myself to (which I can totally do, but that’s when writing becomes a chore: BIG NO-NO). I reevaluate the scene’s purpose in the plot: why is it here? Is it necessary? Could the plot work if I took it out?
  3. I fix it. If the scene is necessary and I’m still not excited to write it, I change or add something to it that makes me excited to write it.
  4. Once I’ve fixed it, I try the methods again! It’s easy to solve problems and brainstorm solutions when you’re excited about what you’re writing. Most of my writer’s block comes when I’m getting bored of or frustrated at a scene.

 And tadaaa!

Three super easy and super fun methods I use to not only beat writer’s block, but totally kick its butt (as well as work through scenes I want to change). I hope they inspire or help you! Writer’s block is no fun. But these methods make kicking its butt super easy for me!

I subconsciously do the first two methods on a daily basis without even thinking, and they in and of themselves inspire new scenes. I wrote entire 8k story called Kira: It’s Not Over based off of one little mini-scene I acted out in my PJs one day. And a cute scene I brainstormed while lying in my bed one night and daydreaming is actually making its way into Warfare Book I. I outlined the scene last night. *squeals and dies*

If you’re a writer, how do you kick writer’s block’s butt? It’s almost as fun as kicking the devil’s butt. Kicking butt in general is really fun.