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Something I'm considering

I'm blocked on Chapter 16, and making slow progress. To have something else to work on for a while, I'm considering inviting suggestions for stories. There'd be a caveat that if the story suggestion was about John and Penny and involved something that couldn't have happened yet in the story's timeline (like Penny meeting Rose), I wouldn't write it. I don't know if I could promise to write all suggestions, or many of them -- it may be that blocked is blocked, and I have to wrestle with perfectionism and first-things-first demons in any case. But I could use some external inspiration.

You writers who have invited suggestions -- how did that work out for you? Send me a private message if you have things you don't want to say in a public post.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
jlrpuck
Jul. 20th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
I don't know that it helped me with writers block, per se--but it did allow me to go and explore things I might not have considered at all. It made me work out aspects of the characters I'd have otherwise ignored--why did they do what they did when they did, and what are the ramifications in the 'current' story, for example--and I'm always thankful for having a good excuse to do that.

Plus, it's kind of fun writing something that you know is a one-off--there seems to be a lot less pressure associated with it, and it can be fun to experiment with style when writing those kinds of stories.
earlgreytea68
Jul. 21st, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
Hmm. I actually never really invite suggestions, because I find they stress me out unduly. Sometimes they'll be something it would never occur to me to write, and the pressure of letting someone down and not writing it well freezes me. However, that's the type of writer I am: I'm not normally afflicted with writer's block, so I don't find that way of triggering ideas helpful. jlrpuck is a very different kind of writer from me, and she really loves the prompts. Could be fun! And couldn't hurt!
whochick
Jul. 21st, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
I actually found it really unhelpful. I did find it very useful asking my betas for their opinion, but I have uncommonly good ones in drox and iansmomesq ... I'm sure yours are equally excellent.

Your betas probably have a real affection for the characters and the direction you're taking. I'd ask them first.
kalleah
Jul. 22nd, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
It depends so very, very much. I've gotten brilliant prompts and absolute rubbish - things that inspire me and things that make me roll my eyes. But ... you can always ignore them if they're not useful. :)
irishaithne
Jul. 28th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
I haven't written in a long, long time (not since early Veronica Mars and a few short Ten/Rose bits), so I don't know that I have much that will be helpful, but I've always found that pressure works for me - if I have a deadline, I'm more likely to focus and churn something out than if I don't. Maybe enter a ficathon?

I also like to get in the mood, or "method write", if you will. It really helps if I get into my character's head and try to experience what they're feeling. Sometimes I explore how a character feels about an event that happened in the story, and while I may never use what I've written, it gives me insight. For example, I'd try to write a piece where Jackie calls Rose after John and Penny leave.

Finally, prompts are good sometimes. One exercise we did in a writing class that I really liked was taking a random line from an article or something and using that as your first line.

Hope something helps. I admit, I'm being selfish in trying to end your writer's block because I could really use some Heritage right about now!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )