Dramaquill's All Things Writing

March 11, 2015

Writing Prompts: Writer’s Block Beware

Writing prompts are great when you need a kick start to get you writing again.  Don’t concern yourself with whether or not you’ll craft a new full manuscript – just have fun!

Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing”

1.      She burst into the room, surprising…

2.      The last number was about to be drawn.  Robert held his lottery ticket as tightly as he held his breath.

3.      Laughter erupted from behind the office door.

4.      A pair of eyes blinked from behind the crack in the rickety old wooden fence.

5.      A trumpet blared.  Thunderous applause filled the auditorium.  The curtain opened and…

Here are some articles and sites with a wide variety of prompts.  What are you waiting for?  Writer’s Block beware!

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/7-creative-writing-prompts-to-spark-your-writing

http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/writing-prompts-101/

http://awesomewritingprompts.tumblr.com/

http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/instant-online-writing-prompts/

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September 17, 2013

Writer’s Block Tip

Filed under: Writing — dramaquill @ 2:30 PM
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No doubt every writer has, at one time or another, suffered from a bout of writer’s block.  

Empty page…cursor blinking…
White notebook page…pen in hand…

…and nothing!

The crisp fall air reminds me that there’s inspiration everywhere.  

For example, what did you do all summer?  Did you have company come and visit?  Did you go on a trip somewhere?  Were there special occasions to celebrate?  Did you meet new people or reconnect with those you hadn’t seen for a long time?

Fall is the perfect time to use something from summer as an inspiration to begin writing something new.

Or…just look out the window at the beautiful colours and the people buzzing around with their hectic schedules and let one of the scenarios unlock your creativity.

What’s your best tip for getting past writer’s block?

July 26, 2013

Writing Advice: What Do You Want To Know?

Over the years I’ve blogged on a wide variety of writing topics from playwriting to suspense novels, marketing, book reviewing, contests and more.

After going through my archives, I thought I might turn my blog over to my readers for the month of August by answering your writing related questions.

Please fill out the form below. I’ll post answers (and links, if appropriate) to my favourite questions every Tuesday in August.

April 22, 2012

Don’t be a Loner: My cure for Writer’s Block

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There have been times when I’ve been working on one of my manuscripts and I just can’t seem to produce ten coherent words.  Yep – that dreaded writer’s block!

Writer’s block used to panic me.  What if I never get any more ideas?  What if my writing ability has dried up?  I’m sure you’ve all been there at some time or other.

For the most part, writing is a solitary activity, unless you happen to be collaborating with another writer on a project.  But let’s face it, most of a writer’s working time is spent alone.

All that alone time is great when your creative juices are flowing but it can become pretty debilitating when the words stop coming.  Yes, you can get up and move around.  You can check your email, make a snack, phone a friend or do a million other things to get you back on track.  None of these have ever worked for me.  All it does it take me further away from figuring out how to get back to writing.

But, if I talk to another writer, whether in an email from my online critique group, or in person with another local writer, it doesn’t take long before I’m excited to get back to one of my projects. 

Just the other day, I opened up the file for my second suspense novel and realized that I’ve hit a brick wall.  I haven’t been able to spend as much time working on it these past few months and the entire story has just stalled.  I really need to finish it and submit it to my publisher by summer. 

Then, yesterday, I had a great conversation with an author I know who is on her fifth revision of her first novel.  A ten minute conversation and I could hardly wait to get home and get writing.  Just ten minutes and my writer’s battery recharged.

This isn’t the first time that connecting with another writer has inspired me.  I cherish my online critique group.  Every time I feel sidetracked or wonder if I’ll ever write another intelligent word, I just need to interact with these writers for a bit and wham – writer’s block gone!

And it usually isn’t a conversation about me, my writing or even writer’s block that gets me going again.  It could be an email that one of the group just got picked up by an agent.  Perhaps it’s a fabulous chapter, written by someone in the group, that I have to critique.  It could even be the mention of a new contest or opportunity that might be of interest to someone in the group.

All I know is that the quickest way for me to get out of my own writer’s block is to connect with another writer.

How do you handle your periods of writer’s block?

June 14, 2011

Inspiration can come from anywhere

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My mind is always going at warp speed.  I can be working on one project and suddenly, bam, another idea pops into my head.  I’ve never been one of those writers who struggle to come up with the next idea.

I’m lucky – and I’m probably in the minority.  But, it got me to thinking one day.  Why is it so easy for some writers to become inspired with a new project and so difficult for others?

I don’t know about other writers but I think, for me, it’s being aware of the details of my surroundings.  I’ll give you some examples…

I have pets – dogs.  I’ve used their antics to craft children’s poetry, stories and plays. 

I own a performing arts studio where I’m surrounded by students from age 3 to senior citizens. Working with such a diverse group of individuals really gives me insight into what interests and entertains the different age groups as well as great fodder for traits for my characters.

I live in a city of approximately 110,000.  There are so many wonderful places to just go and people watch.  My handy notebooks are filled with physical descriptions, mannerisms, and expressions.  It’s also very picturesque in my corner of the world and on the advice of a mentor, I decided to set my suspense novels in different locations near where I live.

Do you have kids?  Watch what makes them laugh…cry…angry.  What keeps them interested? 

Many writers get inspiration from the daily news headlines.  Current issues can provide inspiration for articles and different slants on hot topics.  Crime stories can jump start a mystery or thriller.

We all have a myriad of people pass through our lives on a regular basis.  They all have a lot to offer us if we take the time to look for something about them, or in their lives, that can jumpstart an idea.

Many writers enjoy online ezines, blogs and newsletters.  Often, ezines and newsletters will send a writing prompt.  Try freewriting the next time you read one and see where it takes you.

An online friend of mine exhibited a really unique way of showing inspiration can come from anywhere.  Recently, her neighborhood was hit with a tornado.  She not only used her experiences, and the experiences of those around her, as great material for her blog, but also to inspire her creative writing.  Now that’s someone definitely making lemonade, or in this case inspiration, out of a terrible situation.

Look around! 

Observe!

Record!

Inspiration truly can come from anywhere, anytime and from anyone.  Be open to inspiration.

December 4, 2007

Nano aftermath

So Nanowrimo’s officially over for another year.  I had so wanted to complete the 50,000 and was totally motivated to do so.  At the end of week three I got sick and was in bed for a couple of days.  Let’s call that Setback #1.

Three days later, my dog had some kind of breathing attack and I had to take him to the vet.  Days of testing and piles of money later, the news is devastating…rare form of cancer.  Doesn’t seem to be anthing else our vets can do here.  Definitely Setback #2.

Now, writing seems furthest from my mind and even if I wanted to, I can’t seem to pick back up into the story at the moment.  Setback #3.

So I stalled at almost 33,000 words.

But I have to look at Nanowrimo in the most positive of light:

***I wrote 33,000 words in one month! 

***I have a huge start to a new novel. 

***I’ve made some new, local writing friends.

November 9, 2007

When you’re stuck and you can’t get going

We’ve all been there, right?  Ideas pouring out so fast you struggle to get them down.  Projects too numerous to ever complete.  Chapter after chapter of electrifying prose oozing through your fingers and onto the computer screen.

Well, maybe not.

But don’t get discouraged.  Whether you’re trying to figure out a new project to begin or are stalled in the middle of that great novel you want to finish, we’ve all had those moments of feeling like we’re stuck in the mud and we can’t get going.

I like to play a little game with myself when this happens during an already started project. 

Ask yourself:  What if?

What if my heroine goes to meet her husband for lunch and he doesn’t show up?

What if my villain makes the worst mistake of his life, like kidnapping the wrong person?

What if I just write a bunch of boring dribble until my creative juices start flowing again?

Try it – you never know where it might take you.

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