There’s No Such Thing as “Writer’s Block”

Writer's Block

Or, How to Overcome “Writer’s Block”

Okay, I get it. Saying something like there’s no such thing as writer’s block is a pretty controversial thing. Even experienced writers say that writer’s block is real.

Some have written entire books on the subject. I’ve read about writers who stare at a blank page for hours, unable to come up with a single sentence.

I know, sometimes it’s hard to write. In fact, it can be very hard. But the concept of a mental “block” that prohibits you from finishing your story is not real.

But there is a real challenge that many writers face. One that can derail or upset the progress of a story/manuscript. A problem that is often mistaken for writer’s block is very real. But it can be overcome if you’re willing to work.

Oh yes, writing is work, just like any other craft. Writers just don’t sit down at a computer and watch the words fly onto the screen. Even the most prolific writers—who have produced countless books—didn’t start there.

The secret to all great writers is this: they write… A LOT.

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The Very Bad Detective, Part 1

The Very Bad Detective

The flashbulb went off, illuminating the scene with a grizzly, stark light. Blood splattered the walls like a sick Jackson Pollock. And that was the nicest thing about it. The less said about the entrails, the better. Police officers and detectives gingerly stepped around the room, collecting what might be evidence.

Maxwell Brogue, however, was getting sick.

He stood at the door, covering his nose and mouth with a handkerchief. The smell. Oh God, the smell. It permeated the room like a vile perfume. I don’t know if I could describe to you the kinds of smells present at a murder scene. Let’s just say, it makes a bus station bathroom more desirable.

Maxwell swallowed hard. He was fighting to push back the bile and late dinner rising in his throat. He knew he shouldn’t have sprung for a steak and fries at 10:30 at night. Also, the chocolate shake and apple pie. But how was he to know he would have gotten a call so soon after he paid the check? How did the police find him at that greasy spoon diner so quickly?

I guess he was getting too predictable. That’s not good, for a detective.

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A Small, Sad Dwarf Part 2

A small sad dwarf part 1

A small sad dwarf sat at the end of the world. He remembered his name… now what?

There, at the end of the world, a small sad dwarf stroked the flower in his coat. The world around him was bleak and dark. Smoke floated away in an army of clouds. He had remembered his name. But he remembered little else. That was a start, at least.

The ground rumbled and he remembered something happened.
The dwarf kept walking across the field of blackened, burnt earth. There was not much to see. Through a break in the clouds, he thought he saw stars. Little twinkling fires, set in an ever-changing space. It wasn’t black, as he expected. There were reds and blues, pinks and orange like fire.

He wondered if there was something out there, tucked behind those little fires. But how could he find out?

And how would he ever get there?

It seemed as if the ground was rumbling harder. Or was it he was walking toward the source of the shaking? The wind kicked up, rustling the little flower in his coat. The dwarf cupped a hand over it, protecting it from blowing away.

But the wind grew stronger. It gusted like it was angry. Angry at the dwarf? Who could say? He had to crouch over, to prevent from being bowled over. The wind kicked up dirt and dust. The dwarf squinted his eyes. He considered turning back around to where he had come.
There was nothing back there. Why should he bother?

The dwarf found a hill and climbed it. It seemed like the wind calmed down just a bit. Below, the ground was a little less burned and little less… well, dead.

Somewhere in the distance, he saw something, sticking up out of the ground. It was big, bigger than a stone or boulder. The shape was kind of boxy, with straight square walls—

They were walls! Walls of a house. The dwarf had missed it earlier, because it was almost as black as all the rest. Dust must have covered the house, but it was still standing. Could there be something inside the house? Something that could help him remember?

Could there be someone inside?

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Crafting a Space Opera—Let the Pain Begin

Crafting a space opera as a fiction writer

I don’t know what possessed me to want to write a “space opera.” Of course, I loved the original Star Wars trilogy. As an aspiring fiction writer, it’s not that inconceivable that I’d want to try my hand at the genre.

But, boy, it is harder than it looks.

There are numerous magnificent entries into the science fantasy action/adventure genre. Too many to count. They span galaxies, timelines, themes, and tones. They are crammed with thrills, romance, mysteries, and just a little bit of science.

And—as someone who wants to write fantasy fiction, without boundaries—it seemed like the perfect place to jump in.

Ouch.

I guess I always jump into creative projects with both feet. Even as a kid, the excitement of drawing my own comic characters or writing my own adventures was enough to propel me forward. The enthusiasm I felt for creating my own stuff was enough for me to overcome whatever hurdles laid in my path.

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A Small, Sad Dwarf Part 1

A small sad dwarf part 1

A small sad dwarf sat at the end of the world. Everybody else’s time had come… why not his?

A small, sad dwarf sat on a stump, looking out on the rolling landscape in front of him. He didn’t remember his name or much of anything. A black army of clouds wafted up into the sky. In his mind, it looked like the souls of the world ascending into space.

He chewed a thin piece of straw. He didn’t know where the straw had come from. Little was left that could grow. The dwarf didn’t know why he was chewing the straw. Maybe, long ago, he liked to chew things. Or smoke thing. Or stick things in his mouth. He had forgotten.

The ground rumbled and the dwarf almost fell off the stump. That was good a reason as any to get up and move around. His legs were cramping something fierce and he assumed there wasn’t much use staring and the charred, desolate hills. Getting up, he reached up to the sky, craning his neck.

He let out a groan, it echoed, hanging in the air.

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