How to: Focus Your Characters

Every author knows the pain of the newest curse words to be added to the writers dictionary in the last century: writers block. It happens even to the best of us. I cannot count how many times I have started a new project and half way through realized I had come to a block. Instead of becoming frustrated, here’s what I do to overcome the block and write on!

I have found that whenever I have been unable to continue in my story, I have to take a step back and refocus my characters. As I write, my characters and their personalities develop, taking me on the journey with them as they make their way through the novel. What I as the author must do is gently direct them in the direction I hope to go. Sometimes this works, sometimes my characters get away from me. When they move too far from what I hope to accomplish, I find myself stuck.

As I take a moment to find where the rest of my story will go, I think of the possibilities. If my character has come to a crossroad, I rival with them, deciding which road will be the best taken for my novel to continue. If I am in the midst of an action or dialogue and I back myself into a corner, having used every option, I take a step back, reread what has lead up to the blockage, and search for some sort of symbolism that I might have forgotten to use to help me out.

If none of the above has worked and the magical little Muse of inspiration has decided to stay away, I try and find it elsewhere. Besides writing, I enjoy dancing, music, movies, or just being in the company of those I love. I take the time to enjoy one of the above, completely forgetting the stress of my block, and focus solely on the moment. Only when I have remembered again about my work in progress, the stress not resurfacing, do I reread what I have written and write on, relieving the block.

These are the tricks of the trade that I have found to be most helpful, and I hope they help you through that rough spot. Remember, it happens to us all, and you will get through it! Write on!

 

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