Writer’s Block

The other day, I had a student come up to me and ask for some advice. He’s been working on several science fiction novels, and one story in particular has been hard for him to move through. “There’s just this scene that I have to write,” he complained. “It’s so boring, but I need to include the information, or else nothing afterward will make any sense. If I’m this bored while writing it, there’s no way anyone will want to read it. I’m stuck! What do I do?”

Personally, I hate writer’s block almost more than anything else. For me, it comes when I start judging my work too harshly. I’ll re-write a paragraph ten, fifteen, twenty times (not even exaggerating), and still feel like what I’ve written is clunky, boring, or just lame. This contrasts with the times when my fingers fly across the keyboard because the story seems pre-written in my head and I’m just typing it out. Hitting the metaphorical wall that is writer’s block hurts, in a very emotional-hurt kind of way. I start to worry that I’ve lost any skill I’ve had with writing. That I’ll never finish writing the chapter I’m on, much less the rest of the book. That I’ll never be able to write anything readable ever again. (Yes, my brain is ridiculously histrionic, and tends toward worst-case scenarios).

Although I don’t have a sure-fire cure for writer’s block, there is one thing I’ve found to be particularly useful when I’m faced with the beast:

Move On!

When I find myself ramming my head against the wall, trying to perfect a paragraph that refuses to cooperate, I have to remind myself to take a step back. I look at my painfully messy writing, and I tell myself “you’ll come back and fix this later.” And then I move to the next scene, or the next chapter, or the next part of the story that just works. I move on to convince myself that I can still write, and that this story that I’m crafting is actually going somewhere beyond the scene I’m struggling with.

As the amazing movie, Meet the Robinsons says, “Keep Moving Forward.”

Beta Readers

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to beta-read my novel, Regnum Terra! I look forward to hearing your feedback and opinions. A few things that I’m looking for from my readers:

Your Opinion!

Did you like my book? What was your favorite part? Who was your favorite character? Books, in my opinion, are meant to be shared and discussed. Go all book-club with me, and tell me what you think! Constructive criticism makes good things great.

Pacing!

The one thing I always worry about the most is whether my writing flows the way I want it to. While you were reading Regnum Terra, how did it feel? Which parts of the book felt fast-paced? Which parts seemed to drag a little bit? Were there some scenes you would cut altogether? Let me know!

Characters!

No story is complete without characters. The best stories have characters that feel like real people; that are more than two-dimensional, and whose lives hook the reader and make them feel something. How do the characters in Regnum Terra match up? Is there a character you’d like to see more of? Is there a character you just love to hate?

Grammar!

Maybe a bit less fun, but save me from some embarrassment please! If you notice any grammatical or spelling errors in my novel, please let me know. My writing is far from perfect, so take the opportunity to call me out on it!

If you haven’t yet signed up as a beta reader, there are still a few slots left. Help me out, and I promise you a riveting story in return.

Thank you for supporting The Regnum Trilogy! Stay tuned for future updates!