Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Writer's Block: Writing Boost

Do you ever feel like your writing looses it's life? That the setting fades away and the dialogue falls flat? Here are a few tricks to breathe new life into your writing and create fresh, memorable scenes:

Form Shift: This is an exercise I learned in college. Most books are written in standard prose, but shifting forms is a great way to give your readers something different. Write a few scenes as letters, as lists, as a how-to. If you're writing crime fiction, try writing a police report or newspaper piece. Write a portion of your romance novel in the form of a love letter. Shifting to a different form will give you the freedom to try something different and tell the story in a new way.

Dialogue Only: This is especially useful if you're trying to move the scene along or nail down a character's voice. For a scene or chapter, write entirely in dialogue, no stage directions or exposition. You may be surprised at how quickly you can move a scene and what you may discover about a character's voice.

Exposition Only: This is the opposite of the previous exercise, where you write no dialogue, only exposition. Use this to explore the setting, maybe sneak in some back story, and overall hone your prose.

Point of View Shift: Often, we start writing in a certain point of view and question our decision later. If you're writing in first person, try shifting to third and vice versa. You may like it better. You can also try writing from a different character's point of view. It's always informative to see the story from another character's perspective.

These are all exercises and you may not use any of the writing in your final manuscript. But more often then not, you'll produce something that surprises you, something that's new and fresh, something that revives your manuscript.

1 comment:

Picks By Pat said...

Your Wednesday posts are my favorite...there's always something useful for the writer.

Like the new format, by the way.