Writing inspiration

originally posted by Alex Padgett

This is kind of a stupid question, and I don't really know how to word it properly in a way that makes sense… Has anybody else sat down with a huge flash of inspiration, started writing, and then run out of words shortly after? If so, do you have any ways to help with it? It's getting to the point where I can't even do free writing anymore - something I've always enjoyed doing immensely, because I just don't have the words for it…

Look in the tips for writers' section of this site: it may have a lot to do with trying to 'create and destroy' at the same time…if you are drafting (creating) then the critic and inner editor must be SHUT DOWN - or you'll stop yourself cold, being critical, telling yourself logically that you are not doing it 'right'…when you know your idea, and have it down far enough to recognize what inspiration has handed you/ONLY when you are not 'creating' - then the inner critic and editor can (destroy) to shape the text and fine tune it.

There are other things in the tips section that may help.

OPEN FOCUS also helps…you shut down when you sit still and concentrate - take your scratch pad for a walk. When you move, it OPENS inspiration up/changes how you reflect. When you have your list of ideas, sit back down and viola.

originally posted by Beldarius

Roleplaying your stories/universe with other people can also help with writer's blocks. …At least it helped me.

I've had a writer's block for several years, but around two years ago I took part in a text-based roleplay with a friend of mine (it deals with our own version of Heaven and Hell and an age-old war between angels and demons. We already ended the war and now we're delving into political intrigue in a celestial city.). This RP jump-started my imagination and I'm on the verge of writing a scene I planned years ago but never had the time to complete (my story doesn't actually take place in the RP universe, instead it takes place in a magical parallel dimension of our world).

originally posted by Alex Padgett

@Janny - Unfortunately, my handwriting is the closest thing to illegible imaginable. So bad even I can't read it, and that's when sitting down on a flat table. Moving with a computer is less than an option, unfortunately - plus I don't have a scratchpad.

I did look through the writer's section, both here and on your faq, and didn't really see anything that really… helped. It's not that I'm doing it 'right' or 'wrong' while I'm writing, I just start, and then frequently lose the thread I had, all of a sudden, frequently mid-sentence. And then I can't get it back. And I can't continue it. Like I said, I just lose my words, and I know it doesn't make sense.

@Beldarius (awesome name, Belgariad reference intentional?) that DOES help, and I know it does, but my problem isn't writer's block. I've had it before, and I opened the story into a collab, and finished something… that was honestly a huge pile of steaming turds, but was better than what I *had*. The problem here is I don't HAVE writer's block - if I did I'd be able to 'fix' it - I just run out of words. Like there's nothing that I can say, though that's far from an accurate thing, more like that's all the story can tell me. Which sucks, because if I was able to finish one or two of the novelette ideas I have scrapped… Well, at least it would be doing something.

originally posted by Beldarius

Hm. So it's like that…

For that, I just do one thing: come up with several short scenes, and then just string them all together and edit it so that it becomes a full story. Sometimes writing in script format helps - then you can come up with the rest of the words later.

PS. And yes, Beldarius (aka Darius) is actually my OC from the Belgariad (he's Garion's twin brother - lame, I know). I eventually transferred him into my original fantasy story.

originally posted by Leonie

Sometimes I just keep on writing. Even if it seems like it's absolute rubbish. Even if the words aren't going where I think they should, and even if what I'm writing doesn't seem to make sense in the context of the story. It's part of my discipline of writing if you like. To write even when the story doesn't seem to be there.

Sometimes when you go back and have a look at that stuff, you just scrap it all because it is only "words on a page." But sometimes, deep inside what you've written, is a little nugget of gold. And then the story revitalises itself and takes off again.

I hope some of that is helpful!