Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction,Young Adult
After her father’s death in a plane crash, Miranda Woodward’s life begins to unravel. On her sixteenth birthday, Miranda receives a mysterious gift: a small wooden box containing a needle and spool of gossamer golden thread, left behind by her father, which begins a chain of events that soon leave her life in chaos. Her pet cat is replaced with another, her teachers don’t have her on their roll call at school, even her closest friends forget who she is. When her mother vanishes into thin air, Miranda becomes desperate for answers. She follows clues to a meet a man known only as the Tailor. With his help, she must find a way to fix her life before it’stoo late.
5 Writer’s Block Busters to Help You Finish That Novel
One of the hardest things for any writer is the dreaded descent of WRITER’S BLOCK. Oh no! My inspiration has VANISHED. How will I ever finish THE BOOK without that spark to carry me through? We’ve all been there. It comes for minutes, months, or even years at a time, where your brain just doesn’t want to engage with that Thing that was so exciting and got your juices flowing not that long ago. So how do you break the block? Here are five writer’s block busters that have helped me. Maybe they’ll help you, too!
1. Change Medium
When I am sitting at my desk and staring at a digital document, sometimes my eyes start to glaze over. I feel myself zoning out, or I’ve been scrolling back through what I’ve written in the last week or so and I lose my train of thought and boom! I’m blocked. When this happens, I find that it can be very helpful to change my writing medium. For me this means moving from a digital document to a journal. Every writing project I’ve ever had also had a small, spiral notebook where I not only kept notes about characters,but worked through problems I was having with particular scenes, timelines, and so on. Switching gears to writing by hand can often unstick the worst writer’s block!
2. Talk (or Write) to Yourself
My rough drafts are FULL of whole blocks of text that I’ve highlighted in red that are places where I got stuck but needed to keep writing. In these cases, I switch to second person and start writing to MYSELF. It will go something like this: “Okay, you’re feeling stuck here, but you know that Character A needs to get to Character B’s house somehow. It’s okay that we don’t have that worked out just yet, and you’ll figure it out, but for now let’s just talk about some options.” I find that when I put myself into this sort of brain-storming mode, where I’m just having a nice chat with myself, the pressure comes off and I’m able to think through what I want to happen next.
3. Talk to Another Writer
I was very lucky when writing my book, Threadwalkers, that I had an amazing writing group. We got together every week and took turns discussing not only specific feedbackafter reading one another’s latest stuff, but also just chatting about how our writing was going overall. I found that when I was really stuck, that often a simple question from someone else who’d read what I had so far, or who knew where I wanted to go with the story, would be that little spark I needed to pick it up again. Writer’s ask insightful questions, particularly if you are willing to open up to them about your process. A good writer-friend network is wonderful!
4. Read Read Read Read Read
Countless people have said that in order to be a writer you’ve also got to be a reader, and I couldn’t agree more. While you might want to avoid other books and stories that are too similar to yours (to reduce cross-contamination of ideas), you should still be reading other books in your genre. Immerse yourself with what’s current as well as what’s classic, get to know where the genre is. Don’t get hung up on trends, but let other stories speak to you. They will feed your imagination, let that creative muscle workitself without the pressure of having to come up with a narrative for a while, and maybe even refresh you mentally to go back to tackling your own manuscript again.
5. Just Write Anyway
The adage I write by is that “bad words on the page are better than no words on the page.” Even if you feel stuck, make yourself keep writing anyway. If you spend all your time waiting for the rush of creativity to strike, your project will never get finished. The truth is that writer’s block DOES hit everyone, but to be successful, you still need to be able to keep going. So you might have to delete this paragraph, or scene, or GASP this whole chapter. So what? That might have happened in editing anyway, and chancesare that you’ll find your grove again while you push on through. Give yourself permission to just put words down. You can always edit them later! The important thing is to be persistent and to keep going. Writers, after all, write. I know you can, too.
Joanna Volavka is the author of the young adult science fiction novel Threadwalkers. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband, two cats, and extensive book collection. A writer for Geek Girl Pen Pals, Joanna spends her time alternately between creative artistic pursuits and has a passion for conservation and wildlife while working on whatever story she’s got brewing in her overly active imagination. She still hasn’t decided what she’s going to be when she grows up, though she suspects it will probably be herself. Read more about Joanna and her adventures on her website http://www.joannavolavka.com
You can connect with Joanna on Twitter: @joannavolavka and on Instagram: @joannavolavka and @geekyjo