7 Ways to Prevent Writer’s Block

7 Ways to Prevent Writer’s Block
Run!!

You can see it in the bushes. It has your scent. You run but it pounces. 
Well that’s not exactly how writer’s block works, but that is how it feels. Writer’s block can stop any writer in his or her tracks…..

EXCEPT YOU!!!!!

With these 7 tips, you can prevent it well before it rears its ugly head.

So let’s check them out:
1.Keep a Notebook

Ideas often strike like lightning. Something could spark creativity at any moment. Keep a notebook on your person that you can add your ideas to at any time.
2. Create a Routine

Human beings are creatures of habit. Find a way to habitualize your writing methods. If you can train yourself to write at certain times or in certain places, it gets easier. Cue, routine, reward. Create the cues, and the routines, and the reward is creativity.
3. Prompts

Think of prompts that you can store in your back pocket when you foresee a specific problem. The stranger the prompts the better. Keep them in the same notebook you keep your other ideas in. 
4. Constraints

If you find yourself not knowing what to write, lessen the time you have to write. Keep your same goals as far as pages, or words, but lessen your write time. Human beings work within constraints. There is something to be said for forced procrastination. 
5. Multiple Projects

Having multiple pots stewing in the kitchen is a great way to keep your creative juices flowing. When one project seems overdone and flavorless, jump to your other project with a renewed zeal. 
6. Mental Multi-tasking

We don’t spend all of our time writing. We go shopping, showering, and snow-shoveling, maybe. You can, however, spend your time thinking about your projects. This will become a slight obsession. Not a bad thing! It will help you produce ideas that will astound you.
7. Keep the Fun!

If writing stops being fun for you, you are doing it wrong. If you are stumped by writer’s block, start planning ways to spice things up. Go write in a Chuckee-Cheese. Go write upside down at a jungle gym. Do something that will make what you do different, because it is.

Conclusion

Let’s put a stop to the epidemic of writer’s block. We can stop it. Prevention is the answer. All we need to do is put these steps into practice. Let’s not forget that last one, to have fun. If we aren’t having fun, then let’s go be boring like normal 9-5 people.

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5 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block

Here are a couple things to do in the moment to overcome writer’s block. They aren’t perfect solutions but they are steps in the right way. Here they are:

1. Step Away

Sometimes as writers we can get too close to our work. Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at things in a new light. Maybe we might pause the project for longer than a day. Give your brain time to think. 

2. Learn New Facts

The brain likes novelty. If you find yourself stuck, learn something new. Go onto wikipedia and click random article. Even just google “random fact” and see what comes up. This will help your mind start engaging about new ideas and how to incorporate them into your writing.

3. Work On the Outline

A building is built from a framework. Stories aren’t just put together. They require planning and forethought. Often when writing the minutiae, we overlook the big picture. Writer’s block might be a symptom of not enough macro planning.

4.Ask Questions

If stuck, re-read the last couple pages. Ask, and write down as many questions as possible. “Why does this character hate carrots?” “How would he react if…..” “What situation would embarrass the character the most?” Those questions were just examples. Once you have your questions, plan how you might answer them in the near future.

5. Idealogical Expulsion

The last resort is one of catharsis. Get out a blank piece of paper or doc, and “throw up” all of the ideas in your head, good or bad. Do not filter what comes out. Just write. Don’t worry about what makes sense or no. Just write. Once all the ideas are out, or you feel comfortable with them, re-read the ideas. Pick one. Write about it.

Conclusion

Writer’s block is the tax auditor of the writing world. It comes to each of us and stumps us for a while. It makes us go crazy for a while going back through what we’d already done. The best way to deal with writer’s block is to prevent it. Barring that, here are 5 quick tips to deal with it in the moment. Let’s all banish writer’s block forever.

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The Exchange Rate

As writers, we are in a very unique position. We are professionals, but not like other professionals. We work on commission, but on a different commission . 

     As a salesperson, you sell a product and exchange that product for money with the client. Essentially that is how every business works when it is reduced to its simplest form. We as writers can be reduced to an even simpler form.

     As writers we exchange books for money, but we can simplify what we do even more. What’s more, our exchange rate teaches us more about our priorities.

     As writers we exchange our words for their time and attention. You might be thinking, “hold on, that is a very idealistic sort of viewpoint.” On the contrary, this principle teaches us how we should view our work.

     As writers we need to realize that every single word is an exchange. They trust us and give their time and attention. They listen to us. That, and their time, sum up to be a very precious commodity. It is a finite resource, maybe the most finite resource. And they give it to us, for only our words.

     This means that our words must live up to the trust they give us. Every word we write must fulfill that promise that we make with the previous word.

     So let us all write with more consideration. Let us write with more solemnity. What we write is what we exchange for another person’s time. That way books become timeless.

Character Profile: Egren Tomus 1.1

“I was born through death. It seems a significant thing to note. Many men died, and then I was. I cannot explain fully what brought me into life. Perhaps I always was. Perhaps it was just a new chapter opening up before me.

Regardless of my origins, I opened my eyes and saw azure blue sky. I saw puffy white clouds drifting lazily across the heavens. I saw pillars of black smoke rise angrily into the serene sky. Slowly, I started to register a great commotion. I raised my head and propped myself up with my hands. I looked around and saw and felt great confusion. All around me, men were dying. Some wore  armor, others heavy leather clothing. No matter where I looked I saw the work of Death. I hesitate to mention, but in light of my calling and my duty, I must, that I felt neither sorrow nor empathy. I felt nothing, but a cold observance. This startled me more than the grisly scene assaulting my senses, involving all five in an extremely thorough way. I knew I should have felt something, though I did not know why, or what I should have felt.

I felt my fingers squelch as I turned my body this way and that to better observe. I brought them up to see why they were wet and moist. They were crimson red, stained with blood.  I stared at them for a while, unsure of what to do. I looked down at the rest of my body. I was naked, but my flesh was not human. Though I felt human, I have come to find out that I am something else. As I looked at myself, I realized, that my skin was completely transparent. My bones, muscles, and other entrails were all visible to the naked eye. More strange than that, there were what looked like clear crystalline structures jutting out of body at different point on my body. It seemed that one sprouted from each major muscle group and rose from my body about two inches. They appeared sharp, but they cause me no pain. How odd.

I next experienced a great weariness and a longing, one so deep and unknown that I almost lost my strength. I then felt a flash of energy and my strength returned. Interested in finding the cause of this burst of energy, I looked at my surroundings. I finally noticed the blood that tarnished my hands. It had come from a pool left by a dead man a yard from where I had lain my head. I had set my hands in the pool accidentally in order to prop myself up. I looked at my hands. The blood on my hands no longer shone with a crimson red sheen, instead it was black like smoky and it seemed to pull light into it rather than reflect any. There was no shine even though I new it was still a liquid. What had happened? I did not know, and I did not know how I could find out.

Out of fear, I fled. I fled the battlefield and ran into a nearby forest. I picked up a cloak as I ran. I didn’t know what I was, but I knew enough to hide myself, though from what I couldn’t say.”

-Excerpt from the Archives of Egren Tomus, the Memorious.

Creature Profile: Mirror Wisps

“In all my travels, I have come across many different creatures. In the sands of the wind blasted plains of the Riddens, I found one creature most interesting.  Other men undoubtedly would have found it disturbing and frightening, however as I am untouched by the Fear, I found it only thought provoking.

We encountered the creature along the descent of sand dune that was surprisingly solid, not shifting like the others we had traversed, and it was much larger than others we had scaled. As we continued down we found the entrance to a cave. The cave was filled with glass, well it was glass. The walls, the floor and the cieling. There seemed to be a light in the cave so we entered being very curious. We saw what looked like the reflection of treasure and that was the nature of our expedition; to find treasure. We entered and soon we found ourselves separated. I don’t know really how it happened, we were there and then we weren’t.

In retrospect it was easy for us to get lost. The glass had such properties as to reflect almost perfectly one’s surroundings. We couldn’t tell when the cave split into two tunnels that led down, each in different directions. The glass also had the properties of moving slightly. They say that glass is a liquid. The glass definitely seemed liquid, as if it moved and breathed and was alive. It wasn’t of course. We followed the trail downward our curiosity pulling us down. Then we started hearing the screams.

We did not encounter the actual Mirror Whisps for another ten minutes. We were walking until the last man in our group froze and yelled and we turned back to see his arm bleeding, cracked as if like glass, and missing a chunk. Another man was similarly struck even while we watched, but we couldn’t actually see what had hurt him. It took us some time to actually think about looking in the glass.

The glass because it reflected what was around it showed all that was, and some that wasn’t. I was actually the one to see the large black shape. It looked like a spindly figure with very slim arms and legs and spines coming out its back. Instead of a head it has a swirling ball of silvery black smoke and two eyes that always seemed be looking at you.  I saw it in the glass. It was standing in the shadow of the first man whom it had bitten. It began to really dig into the man, producing even more screams.

Naturally we all ran. No matter how fast we ran though, the creature seemed to keep pace without tiring. It always seemed to stay standing in the shadows of the people it chased even if only visible in the glass. We rounded a bend and ran into the other group. Some of the glass upon which we had run cracked as we all bashed into each other. The creature seemed to stop behind the cracked glass, unable to move forward. I told eveyone to crack the glass and then run. We crack the glass in a circle around the tunnel entrance and finally we made our way outside.

We did not go back into the cave to find the bodies of our comrades. We later learned from local tribesmen that that was a cave of unholy spirits. Well, we took their advice and moved on. Though fear does not affect me, I do not wish to return there ever again. ”

-Tolari the Remained.

Historical Note: The Centerpoint

There was one instance in history. The God’s finally abandoned the world. At least that was how it seemed. In reality, they were forced to leave. The forces that actually run the universe demanded their removal. Eternium ceased to function. It seemed all the spiritual energy of the planet had been siphoned off. That was why the moon exploded.

 

That instance soon became known as the Centerpoint. The name had no particular meaning other than that given by the prophets who rose up soon after claiming that the Gods had abandoned them and that there were new Gods, Universal Gods, Gods that had always been there but that had hidden in the shadows. No one believed them until they noticed how things had changed, until they noticed how the Magiques and the Wise Men could not access Eternium. To all trained eyes, it seemed that Eternium was gone. It wasn’t. It just changed. The Universal Forces deemed it a useful tool. They twisted it to their own natures. In essence all the pieces of the game were still there, their rules had just changed.

 

The physical deformation of the world was no less shocking. The entire world turned on its side. Cities fell into the earth, and the sea, while others rose into the sky. Entire mountain ranges burned while falling into the sea. Half continents fell underwater. As mentioned before, the moon even exploded. This happened due to another celestial body colliding with it. They shattered and created  two new moons. The moons can create gravitational anomalies. History itself changed.
The greatest effect of the Centerpoint was the shift in progress. Thus far, all technological advances past basic mechanics such as carriages and crossbows was Eternium based. With the apparent disappearance of Eternium, studies progressed elsewhere. Modern mechanics and science began to flourish. Technology soon forgot Eternium for the sake of Science. Science however never revealed the darker sister of Eternium, Etemos. The Forces of the Universe would never leave themselves without power.

Creature Profile: Whisper Wraith

There are things in the realms that still have yet to be explained.

In the city of Kasfaal, there is the conclave of Whisper Wraiths. It is a guild of assassins, and murderers of the most disturbing level. A Whisper Wraith is inhuman.

They began soon after the World Forgers left their powers. There was a conflict, a great war. Naturally all the World Forgers who thrive on chaos were drawn like vultures to the carnage. There were two kings, King Pol and King Terroff. King Pol sought to dominate and subjugate King Terroff. In order to avoid the conclict, King Terroff hired an assassin to murder King Pol. King Terroff did not know that he had contracted with Sileo, the World Forger whose Dominance was murder, and homicide. Under the guise of a simple assassination, Sileo agreed to do the killing.

Silently, Sileo entered the private quarters of King Pol. He slipped his crooked knife between King Pol’s ribs and dipped its tip into his heart. He pulled it out as the King’s sleeping eyes popped open and then glazed over. Sileo, pulled upon the field of eterneum surrounding them and prolonged the King’s life long enough to offer him a deal.

“You are dying.” Sileo stated in a voice that is crisp like ice, but not threatening.

“Help me…I can… Pay….” The King gurgled through a throat that was filling with blood.

“Good. You shall pay. I offer you a deal now. You will live. You will serve me. I will give your continued mortality. You will be granted limited immortality. Do you agree?” Sileo whispered looking straight into the King’s terrified eyes. Silently, the old King nodded. Sileo smiled.

“You are now Whisper Wraith.”

 

A Whisper Wraith is an assassin. He survives on Silean Eternium, Eternium generated through assassination, and murder. Each Whisper Wraith is created when Sileo himself makes a deal with a dying man. The man contracts to serve Sileo, while Sileo grants continued life, a hated and murderous life. Whisper Wraiths are shrouded in the clothes they would have been buried in. The only visible part of their face is their eyes, which gleam an ice blue. They have no trouble seeing in the dark, and some have also been able to see in terms of certain Eternium.

Inside the folds of their wrapped and cloaked body are chains. Each chains represents the last words of someone they have murdered. They survive on the last words of dying men through Silean Eternium. They must exist in secrecy otherwise they are consumed. Whisper Wraiths are unkillable except for stealing all of their dying words, or you learn their real name.

The Whisper Wraiths have claimed the city of Kasfaal as the home of their guild of assassins. They live in the under city and thrive on intrigue and contracts to kill. They are bound together as servants and accept payment from their employers so they can purchase newer weapons and increase their network of spies and contacts. They send agents all across the land.

Underneath their cloaks they are an ice blue smoke and a dark skeleton. In each of the chains are little ice blue beads, the dying words of men. They give the wraith’s power.

The Gravesdigger 1.2

The Old Man led Kern through his graveyard, and into the forest.  They carried no torch, but it seemed the Old Man did not need one. They ran through the forest jumping over logs, going between grasping trees. Suddenly the Old Man froze. Kern ran up beside him. They sat staring off into the dark forest panting. The Old Man turned to look at Kern.

“You are a strange one, so comfortable digging graves,” he said as he smiled. He then reached out and with one hand pushed Kern a yard or so onto the ground.

“For all of the Forgers, “ Kern cursed, as he hit the ground. “Who are you?”

“That!” the Old man said as he pointed to the Gravesdigger and then dramatically swirled until he pointed off into the forest, “Is not important. We must prepare. I must teach you how to put them back.”

“Put who back?”

“The Non-Fallen, the Shreik, the Ashen, the Kiftpalla, the…. What was that last one? Zombead? Undeai? Oh whatever. The point is you must put them back.” The Old man said still staring into the dark.

“Put them back where?”

The old man turned closing his eyes. “Well Master Gravesdigger, where else should you put the Ever Sleeping when they wake?” and with that the old man raised his staff in an overhead swing, his target; Kern.

Kern barely rolled to the left in time to dodge the well place blow. Kern kept rolling using the momentum to put himself up to his feet. Still confused, he brought his shovel to block each blow as the old man tried striking at his sides and over his head. Kern was no warrior, yet he did have good reflexes. It was enough to keep himself from being struck by the old wooden staff wielded by a crazed old man. After a small moment of continued sparring, the old man stopped. Kern eyed him, warily.

“Well that will have to do. I cannot spare any more time. Haha what am I saying, of course I could, but you do not require me any longer.” The Old man laughed. He then grabbed the shovel and rubbed some cream that he produced from his pouch all over the metal spade. He then promptly gave back the shovel and said, “Good luck,” and then ran off into the forest.

Nothing made sense at all to Kern. The old man’s words ran through his head. Put them back. Where else do you put the Eversleeping when they wake? Kern was confused, but he knew that there were forces invading his graveyard. He knew he had to do something about it, after all he was the Gravesdigger.

 

 

Kern peered out from behind a large headstone. He saw a smoking figure standing in the middle of the graveyard walking between the dead. As he passed each grave, it seemed a little bit more smoke rose out of the ground and into the vortex of swirling black power. It gave Kern chills. He did not understand what was happening, but he figured if it came from a grave, he’d put it back in one. Having made that decision, his nerves calmed somewhat.

Without notice something loud struck his shoulder. He fell to the ground and stared as he saw the floating figure of the old skeletal woman coming toward him. He had not been hit with something physical, but something untouchable but that could touch, hurt, and kill him.

Remembering how the old man had struck the skull of the woman which had effected her. He waited a second, face hidden, trying to portray unconsciousness. The Ashen Flyer drifted toward him, and like lightning he rose and swung with his shovel, hoping he would connect. It struck and he saw the skull fly, and the smoke left behind mixed with a light grey mist that dismissed it and then the headless skeletal torso exploded sending bits of bone whizzing through the night.

He stared, stunned at what had just happened. What is going on? He thought. He then realized that the larger shadowy figure trudged slowly toward him. He turned in fright staring at the creature, the figure of the billowing black figure. It walked forward, slowly, rhythmically, as if following a durge. It bent down, picked something up, and continued it’ solemn march. It raised it’s hand, holding the skull Kern had knocked away.

“You…” the being said in a loud whisper. “You, reek of Pacificosia. You are too influenced for me to use you.” His voice was like the weight of unanswered questions, the ones that pained the soul late at night. “I cannot let you complicate my plans, but you are too well protected. I need not kill you, just eliminate the threat that you pose. It is simple. You see, there is a solution for everything.” He kept walking toward Kern. Kern again tried to move, but he could not. He saw that he was surrounded with smoke.  Fear held him as tightly as the shrouded figure before him. It kept walking, holding up the skull. It paused right in front of him, seeming to gather the smoke around him and pushing it through his arm into the skull. It stopped. The graveyard was quiet. It smiled and said, “Welcome to your prison. Meet the inmates.” It then pushed the smoking skull into Kerns head.

The Grave Digger 1.1

Kern backed away in horror as the wispy old woman climbed out of the hole, which started to fill with the black smoke that did not any longer seem like smoke.  He stumbled back, and then fell over a small headstone. He landed on his back, his shovel falling from his hands. The old woman stood over him, and slowly her form shifted, becoming ethereal. He saw that she faded to smoke but kept a general silhouette around what seemed like the upper torso of a skeleton.  The skull still held a full head of silvery hair that seemed to lengthen to flow all the way to the ground.  Her eyes stared blankly at him, at his soul, he knew somehow.

“Master Gravesdigger. I am Fo’osha, a daughter of Xyroshe. I appreciate the great care you taken of the resting grounds of my master.“ She paused and the smoke seemed to billow out from her towards Kern. “I need your body.” And she raised her hand and simultaneously Kern lifted off of the ground. “I do not need your soul, however,” and she opened her arms and Kern floated slowly toward her waiting embrace. Fear gripped him, but after trying to break free of the immaterial power that held him, he found he could not even move. He heard the sound of bones knocking together in the pit and waited for the end.

Suddenly, Kern heard a crack and a blur and then saw the woman’s skull fly off into the distance. Immediately he fell to the ground. Whatever power that had held him had dissipated so he started moving immediately. He grabbed his shovel and brought it to bear  on the floating skeletal torso before him  knocking it into the pit. He turned to face whatever savior had arrived at the crucial moment, being sensible enough to know the enemy of your enemy may not be your friend. What he saw, startled him.

In front of him stood an old man. The man wore long brown and tan robes. He wore a strange hat that looked like an upside down bucket but seemed to be made of stiff black cloth. He had a long white beard, and had a curious grey braid coming out from behind his ear. He had a single pouch that hung across his body, and he carried a plain brown staff. He smiled and said, “Well don’t just stand there son. We must run.” And with that he took off through the graveyard.

After a moment of confusion, Kern, against his better judgement, followed the man.

*                            *                            *

Fo’Osha hovered over the pit. She peered down, waiting. Slowly a figure rose from the pit. It appeared much like herself, cloaked in a misty black smoke, though the skeletal figure shrouded within remained hidden for the smoke was so thick. The figure rose and stepped onto the grass. Unlike her, he merited more skeletal figure and a more material presence. She bowed low, uttering words of adoration in a language few had ever heard. The figure, Tolm, strode into the graveyard. Fo’Osha followed.

“Where is he?” whispered a voice that seemed to emanate from the void.

“My master, I was attacked. I did not see what assaulted me, but I was unable to complete the Exchange. I am sorry. I will find him.” Whispered the Shreik. Tolm stopped in the grass. It was deathly quiet. Suddenly Fo’Osha began to scream. Her pitched reached a frequency that pierced beyond the worldly plane. Then it stopped.  Tolm turned and stared at her.

“Mercy,” he whispered, and somehow that one word seemed more of a threat than had the pain that just erupted in her head.

“Yes my master.” And with that the skeletal spectre sped off into the night, determined not to fail so readily again.

The tale of the Gravesdigger 1

Kern awoke early in the morning. He set about preparing the fire in the hearth of his humble little hovel. As fire started to wake, he set about preparing a small meal. He usually made a bowl of grain mush mixed with a few berries. Sometimes he ate some meat, though was on rare occasions. He usually couldn’t afford such luxuries. Even the berries came from the forest and therefore were not a trouble financially.  He turned and surveyed his small home. There was small table that doubled as his dining table and desk, though he didn’t often have occasion to practice the art of writing. He did know how to read and write, strange as it was for someone like him. His mother had been definite on matters such as that. That was also why Kern, being a solitary bachelor, continued to make his bed. Some things just never change.  He finished his meal a little later. He turned and put on a pair of pants and buttoned up an old work shirt. He pulled a knitted cap and set it atop his head, then headed out his door.The sun wasn’t up yet, but that didn’t matter. He preferred to start his day with a walk, through the Graveyard.

He stepped between the headstones. A thick fog blanketed the large field that laid claim on the dead. He knew these graves well, after all he was their caretaker.  His official title was that of the Gravedigger. He was appointed by the Peacesetters of the local Villages. His graveyard was the center point in the middle of a triangle of three different Communalities, Polipa Tara, Polipa Toru, and Proru Tara. Kern was from Polipa Toru, where his family had lived for centuries.

Now he lived in the graveyard. He was payed very meagerly, but the Peacesetters provided food for him as well.  He spent most of his time alone, but never really alone, for this was his graveyard, and here slept the dead. He didn’t mind the solitude, though. Being a the Gravesdigger was an honorable position.He was the caretaker of the dead, the protector of the Last Sleep. He was a guardian of wakeless death. He wasn’t a religious man, but respected the forces that were. He understood that it was noble to watch over those whose eyes had closed.

He spent the day taking care of his graveyard. He tended the flowers and the nature growths that quilted the heads of the dead. He also spent some time foraging in the nearby forest. The day drawing to an end, he made one last patrol of the graveyard. Using his shovel as a cane, he walked through the foggy yard. He soon heard some noise coming from the farthest corner of his graveyard. He heard the distinctive crunch of shovel against dirt.

He came upon a pile of dirt next to a hole. He noticed there was no headstone next to hole. Odd.

“Good evening master Gravesdigger,” came a haggard old voice from the hole. Kern glanced over and saw a slight old woman. Her hair was wispy grey and her skin was a mottled silver. She wore only a dress, no shoes, nor cloak.  She continued digging without looking up.

“It is. I am apt to wonder however, how and why an old miss like yourself might be doing preparing a hole for a deceased, as I assume you are doing. You know that’s exactly what they pay me to do,” he answered.

“Ah, but you see Kern Volhick, I am not preparing, but retrieving.” She whispered and the words seem to hang in the misty air. As she kept digging Kern glimsped the white of bone appear underneath her determined work.

“I can’ let you do that.” Kern said, as he moved to get down into the hole to pull the woman out.

She stopped studdenly and turned to look at him. For the first time, he noticed that instead of normal eyes, she had eyes that resembled charcoal slowly smoking, but with no fire. She stared straight at him, and said, “You might find that a tad bit harder than you think Master Gravesdigger.” and with that her silhouette began to smoke like her eyes and it drifted down instead of up towards the white bones hidden under her feet. They coalesced around the bones and then absorbed into them. Then the bones moved…