Tell me if you experienced this. You got a great premise for a book. It’s new and exciting and everyone is like: “Dude, you need to write this book today so I can throw money at it.” But the moment you sit down and to outline your book all you can do is stare at the blinking cursor. What is a writer to do?
This is the question I’m asking myself. I was recently breaking down my plot of my debut novel into 7 plot points (credit to Word Hunter blog for this awesome method) and I know where I want my plot to go but no idea how I will get it there.
In my brain, the plot resembles a ball of tangled multi-coloured yarn.
It’s my job right now to untangle the plot of my novel and weaves it into a coherent plot. I have made this process a lot easier and I will show you how to do it too!
1) Walk Away
You are not getting anything accomplished by glaring at the cursor into submission! Close the laptop and just walk away! Watch a movie, binge some Netflix, or get out of the house and go for a walk. Don’t worry, it will be there when you get back.
2) Talk It Out
Confession: I talk to myself! No, I’m not crazy, this is how I come up with most of my ideas! I know that for some people this can feel a little silly, but just try it. I myself, have gone on plenty of long walks talking to myself (with Bluetooth headset on so I won’t get strange looks) and have plotted more than one story this way. Protip: You can record your brainstorming session for later reference by simply using a sound recorder or voice memo app.
If talking to yourself is just too much, then talk it out with a friend or a significant other. You can get some awesome feedback this way and it can really give a new perspective on your book.
3) Break Down Your Plot Into Parts
You first start by sorting all the different threads into very simple categories (or as I like to call them “buckets). For me, these buckets are usually the main plot, the subplot, and the character arc. But you can have as many buckets as you want. Then you take those buckets and, break them down beat by individual beat
I am a Graphic Designer, and partly what makes me good at my job is that I’m a visual person. As a visual person, it makes more sense to me to do this part of my outline via a mind map. There is plenty of free (and paid) software but I primarily use GoConqr.
As you can see these simple steps are easy and often free to use. I can not tell you how much using these steps have improved my outline for my book. Now, I have a good road map for my plot and a solid way to execute it.
Now, it’s your turn! Tell me how you combat writer’s block?