cdog0803's picture
cdog0803 August 7, 2015 - 1:38pm

I wouldn't quite call it writer's block, but I just can't seem to write anything or think of anything to write about. Does anyone have any advice for this? I don't even know where to begin. Does anyone have a way to come up with ideas or to make interesting characters?

Chris DePoy's picture
Chris DePoy August 8, 2015 - 4:06pm

You could do what PKD would do and write a story or scene based on your daily horoscope.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 8, 2015 - 6:17pm

We could do a little exercise...

Pick a setting/genre, two ages, three genders (allowed to overlap)

Humboldt Lycanthrope's picture
Humboldt Lycanthrope from California is reading Sing, Unburied, Sing August 9, 2015 - 10:13am

I personally do a lot of thinking before I start writing. I'd start with the genre.  What genre do you want to write?  Horror is always a great standby for me.  Then think up a character and a situation.  You can come up with some characters by just people watching.  Sit in a coffee shop and look around.  Does anyone look particularly intersting?  Why?  Extreme characters can be fun.  The crazy punk rocker or dreadlocked hippy.  Teenagers can be great, too.  Really think about your characters, who they are and what they are like.  Imagine what their Facebook page would say.  What do they want?  Why can't they get it?  What would they do to get it?  Think of a conflict situation with them where they have to go out of their safety zone to get what they want.  How about a writer with writer's block who in order to get ideas goes to a bad part of the city to watch the drug dealers and junkies and gets caught up in a bad situation?  Whatever you come up with, just mull it over and over in your mind, play with the concepts, let it build and build till you just have to get it on paper and then unleash.  Good luck! 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 9, 2015 - 8:06pm

if you want extremes from both ends i recommend a sushi place.

Salvador Montserrat's picture
Salvador Montserrat from Vladivostok is reading Dostoyevski's Short Stories August 10, 2015 - 11:09am

Touché, Thuggish.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies August 12, 2015 - 8:40pm

ONE: https://litreactor.com/columns/storyville-writers-block-where-it-comes-from-and-how-to-break-through

TWO: https://litreactor.com/columns/storyville-where-do-you-get-your-ideas

I have 65+ colums, there are others there about voice, how to reveal character, avoiding tropes, etc. 

Good luck! Hope this helps.

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk August 13, 2015 - 1:39am

things that help me out, 

1) look at the news - read about subjects that intreset you

2) Documentries - any susbjects on TV that intrest you

3) local news, gossip of your area - take that and run with it, 

 

rachel1121's picture
rachel1121 from Colorado is reading anything I can get my hands on. August 13, 2015 - 7:44pm

Step One:  Go to happy hour (Friday is preferable)

Step Two:  Locate large group of women still wearing ID badges and carrying bags that look like pintrest threw up all over them.

Step Three: Confirm said group is full of teachers

Step Four:  Listen and enjoy a tasty beverage

In all seriousness, talk to someone who works with the public.  (teachers, nurses, airline employees, etc)  We see wild, funny, hearbreaking, and terrifying pieces of life everyday.  You might get a great idea or even a great character name (seriously, ask the teachers). 

Hope that helps!

Mike Roberts's picture
Mike Roberts from Kingston, Ontario is reading Julia Cameron August 14, 2015 - 5:05am

True, Rachel, though many Teachers don't want to spend Friday drinking time discussing teaching....

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 14, 2015 - 9:59am

Touché, Thuggish.

 

Ha ha ha! I didn't even realize I was doing that (or I'd have suggested Indian food). 

rachel1121's picture
rachel1121 from Colorado is reading anything I can get my hands on. August 16, 2015 - 6:20pm

many Teachers don't want to spend Friday drinking time discussing teaching....

 

Haha!  Yeah, true for some.  Others . . .  well the stories get better the more they drink. ;)

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 17, 2015 - 2:34pm

many Teachers don't want to spend Friday drinking time discussing teaching....

I'm actually married to a teacher, so I can tell you, at least in elementary, it's the one profession that this is not the case. You can't get two teachers together without talking shop. Three? They'll never, ever, shut the fuck up about it. Alcohol or not. It's a weird phenomenon... 

 

JeffreyGrantBarr's picture
JeffreyGrantBarr from Oregon is reading https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/10268733-jeff-barr?shelf=currently-reading August 23, 2015 - 11:05pm

I. for one, am shocked that Thuggish is married.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal August 29, 2015 - 9:00pm

Ha ha ha... I gotta ask why.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami August 30, 2015 - 1:07pm

How I would answer now is different from how I would have answered when I first started short fiction at sixteen, and further back poetry at 13.

I generally start nowadays by having a real world frame of reference in my immediate life, and then add in talking cats and unicycle riding parrots and Machine Gun wielding Chimpmunks as the story calls for.