Posts Tagged ‘writer’s block’

tltweek88

The page is always blank to start with: stark white like a snowfield, ink dripping from the pen like ash. Then you start to write and it just flows, flows like a river, winding, twisting, so fast you can barely lift your pen from the page and all the words and sentences jumble together.

How long does it take you to realize that they aren’t your words – and how long until you realize that you can’t stop?


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Kira auf der Hiede for the prompt photo!

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On day 5 of my personal challenge to write 100 stories in 100 days, I wrote story number four and it was a winner. I was extremely happy with it and think it has a good chance of getting accepted somewhere.

It is now day 11 and I’ve written a grand total of one story since.

This has been my problem for as long as I can remember. I’ll write something I like and then sit on it. That’s kind of the point of this challenge, to be prolific and not worry (yet) about quality, but every time I start a new one, I worry it won’t be as good and scrap it.

Bad Jaden, write faster.

Day: 11

Stories Finished: 5

Having been miserably incompetent in any sort of writing achievement for about a year, I was in need of some sort of plan to try and make up for lost time. Working on a longform story is fun, but I’m at that point where I want to market my stories to places, and generally it’s easier, if less rewarding, to shop short fiction than your novel.

My achilles heel is consistency. I am in no way prolific, like a certain other contributor to this blog. And I always make up a bunch of excuses, some of those excuses I was using this very morning. So my latest plan is an attempt to play around those weaknesses while working on improving them at the same time.

I am going to write 100 stories in 100 days.

OK so as I said, I am not prolific. I tend to half-finish most of my projects. If I half-finish this one, then by September 12th, I will have fifty stories ready to go. That sounds like a lot to me. When getting published as a new voice is such a numbers game, the more stories you have the better. And that’s what this is really all about.

I began the challenge for myself yesterday, finishing story 1, “Things That Happened While You Were Waiting for the Train,” today.

Ah, youtube. The land of cat videos, let’s plays, and Rick Rolls. It’s an internet enigma. So vast- it would take you 60,000 years to watch every video– and yet so specialized. You have a thing for soccer video games mixed with social commentary? It’s got you covered. Into board games and want to learn how to play them courtesy of some geeky celebrities? boom.

There’s also weird uncanny valley versions of South Park characters singing children’s nursery rhymes. If you’re into that…

But I want to take some time and look at Youtube from a different perspective. One of a historian. The website is now over a decade old and has undergone enormous changes. There was a time when Youtube was something rather remarkable- a platform for the amateur like no other. It offered ambitious amateur writers/performers an outlet for their passions that reached millions of people for free. But something happened along the way. It’s no longer the fertile stomping ground for the aspiring unknown. And to explain just why, we need to dive into the history of the site. Retrace the steps we took.


I’ve been in severe writer’s block for a long while. I think I’m finally out of it, and hoping I can make a long-running series out of this, since I think there’s a lot to discuss. But, knowing me, I might lose steam soon. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen…

A slow week here at LAS, as out of blog activities have eaten up some of our creative power. (One such activity will result in BIG news soon! So stayed tuned.) I, for one, have been busy scrambling to manage the ~1,600 words a day needed to beat NaNoWriMo, where novelists around the world drive themselves crazy trying to write 50,00 words in a single story… in one month.

As I’ve written, I’ve thought of strategies to stretch my word count faster than usual. (I’m by far the slowest working member of LAS, taking about a year to finish a novel length manuscript.) Below are some ideas I’ve come up with, though it should be said that padding for a word count is not usually the best idea. Some stories are meant to be novellas while others are novels or short stories. However, in instances like NaNoWriMo where word count is king, these are some helpful ways to hit your 1,600 word a day quota without sacrificing quality.

Intertwining storylines.

Stuck on where your character’s gonna go from here? Want to take a break but still somehow be productive? Try telling two intertwining stories. Perhaps you intersperse flashbacks or flashforwards (which is what I’m doing) or perhaps you’re writing parallel plotlines, happening at the same time in different places. When you run out of steam for the moment on one person’s story, jump to the other. It halves the chances of hitting a total roadblock!

Don’t rush it

Take your time! Make it a slow burner, gradually introducing your world, your concept, your characters, what have you. Don’t feel like you have to throw everything at a reader right away. Just give em a reason to keep going, perhaps hinting here and there at some future disturbance. Otherwise, try resisting the urge to hit the story’s high tension points too soon. Odds are, you may rush through your plot too soon and end up running out of plotline around word number twenty thousand.

Plan it out

I actually hate outlines, and have written about my disdain for them before. But, in striving to hit a certain word count quickly, outlining your story may not be a bad idea. It can help you stay on track and prevent hitting roadblocks outline-skeptics like myself hit all too often.

Go big or go home

It’s national novel writing month. Not novella writing month. Not short story writing month. Take a look at how “big” your story seems. As I said earlier, some ideas just aren’t big enough to be a novel. And that’s okay, but if you’re like me trying to make a novel in November, then you need a novel worthy idea. Does your story sound like a concept for The Twilight Zone? It’s probably too short. Go bigger, get bolder. You don’t have to finish the story for it to “count” in NaNoWriMo. It’s just a word count goal. So it’s much better to think of a story that’s too long than too short.

Use your resources

The website for NaNoWriMo has excellent tools and tips for meeting your word count each day, as well as inspiration for your writing endeavors. Even if you’re not participating, check it out and get motivated!

All right. Back to the googledoc… Three thousand words behind O.O

Poem- Blank Page

Posted: August 6, 2015 by J.A. Prentice in Poem
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I wrote a poem about an experience every writer knows- Writer’s Block. If you’re not a writer, you should be glad you don’t have to deal with it. The poem is intentionally melodramatic for hopefully humorous effect.


Blank Page

O Hated Adversary!

You mock me with a pristine smile

Unmarred by any mark

We find ourselves on the battlefield

You are silent as a hunting wolf

Cruel as a cat playing with a mouse

Your pale skin, the colour of midnight’s moon

Is unwrinkled- unblemished- youthful as fresh-born spring

Loud emptiness stares into my soul

A pale abyss looks at me

I look back, unblinking, unflinching

I cannot turn away

As with George and the Dragon

As with Oedipus with the Sphinx

As with Odysseus and the Cyclops

As with Gilgamesh and Heaven’s Bull

I must conquer you or else be slain by defeat

With a sword stroke, a tapping dance of fingers upon lettered keys

You are vanquished by a single black wound