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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Swimming, Yr 20
The Neopian Times Week 126 > Articles > Blocking Out Writer's Block

Blocking Out Writer's Block

by arula100

MESSY DESK - Everyone has had the common disease flowitus stoppitus, also known as writer's block, at some point. You may have been writing a story, responding to a long answer English question, or perhaps trying to write your name when it struck.

"What is writer's block?" you may ask. According to page 1,363 of Webster's Ninth New Dictionary, writer's block (noun) is: a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece.

Now in English: Writer's block occurs when you suddenly can't think of what should happen next. Much easier to understand, isn't it?

Now that you know all about, or at least some about writer's block, you can learn how to prevent it. The main cause (in a story) is usually the lack of plot. To solve this problem, you can either do it the easy way or my way. I would suggest whichever sounds ideal to you.

Easy Way: I'm sure your English teacher has asked you to write a story and then given you a nice little organized sheet titled PREWRITING *hint, hint*. There are many forms of prewriting. You can do a plot chart, which is one of those charts with a lot of little boxes connected by lines so you can follow the main points of your plot.

You can always write down the bare bone sentences, too. For example: Bob went to store. Bob got sandwich. Bob ate sandwich. From there you can say: Bob walked casually down to the store…and so on and so forth.

Also, you might write a little something on what your introduction is going to be about, then move up to the rising action (the body of the story), then the climax (the big bang, the major occurrence, the thing you bothered to write about in the first place, etc.) and then the falling action (what happens after the climax).

My Way: My strategy? Do you really want to know? I spend hours wondering what to write about. Exhausted at the end of the day, I lay down to go to sleep. Then, you guessed it; I suddenly have fifty annoying ideas. I know I can't memorize them all, (Latin took up too much space in the ol' memory bank) so I turn on my light, my dog groans, I grab my little pink notebook and pen and write them all down. I'm surprised the pen still has ink.

Usually, these ideas are an exciting beginning and an even better ending. Where did the middle go? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret; a story is just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Without all the stuff in between, it wouldn't taste very good.

So once I have a good idea for a beginning, I open up Word, go to save as, and here's the tricky part. Since my name starts with an R, in the title the first letter is R. This keeps all my document in the same area. I then put a capitol N for Neopets, and following the rN I put the main subject of the document. For example, this document is titled rNwriter'sblock.

As soon and my document is saved, I write down everything I know about my story. I'll use an example, similar to how Popular At Last was done.
Poledra- Gelert- wants to be popular
Something happens
Bird poops on popular pet's tongue.

I then save it again. Once I've written that much down, I begin work on my story. I start out with the beginning, and once I've written no more than three paragraphs, I stare blankly at the screen. Sometimes I'll put on some good music while I think. Within five minutes, I've thought of an idea and get no more than half a page more. Then this process is repeated until I've reached the end, where I speed up again.

Other ways to prevent writer's block: I know what you're thinking, and yes -- there's more! One thing you can do is when you pick what to write about, make sure you can develop it. No offense, but no one enjoys a story where all that happens is Bob goes to the store and gets a sandwich. Hold on -- that was my story…*ahem*, well, just make sure you can build upon your original idea.

If you do get stuck, staring at a blank screen may not be that much help. Get up (yes, as in get out of that chair) and shop around your house for ideas. If you're still too lazy, bang your head against the keyboard like this: vjhsnrktagjuprhlt. Now see how many words you can make out of it. It looks like we can get Skarl out of that. Maybe King Skarl summons your character? You get the idea.

Also, adding characters might not hurt! They could add a lot to your story, and you could have fun developing them. Remember, you should try to keep variety in your characters.

Another method would be to get up from the computer and not come back until a day later. You may think of something by then and you wouldn't have to bust your brain all at once.

Another helpful thing to do would be to write about what you know. If you try to write about something foreign to you, it will be very challenging. Maybe you could write about your own experiences or convert it into a Neopets story. Perhaps a certain song inspires something inside you. One thing that seems to help me is English. Our teacher often gives us a writing prompt-or something to write about. You can build off of those. Here are some examples:
1. Have you ever been discriminated against for any reason?
2. You are walking down a beach when you find a treasure chest. What happens next?
3. You let out a sigh of relief as the mob of attackers rush past your hiding spot. You see an item on the ground. With a closer look, you could tell it was…
That should give you the general idea.

So now you know how to prevent writer's block! Always remember the one rule to writing- have fun!

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