Cheesy, but it says what I mean. Sort of.
Writer’s block is hard enough on its own, but it’s even worse when you’re in between projects and trying to start another. People talk about the intimidating blank page, and although it doesn’t always mean the first page, that one can be the most intimidating of them all.
One tip that I think I gave in the past was to write front matter. This may not help if you don’t plan to self-publish. But it does get words there to start you off.
It can also be an unhelpful stop-start activity. You put it in a word document and then stare at the blank underneath. Or you stare at it as though you got something done but didn’t.
My new approach is much better. You might still get unusable nonsense, but that’s better than nothing.
Turn it into a game. Use something that has an interface like WriteMonkey’s, and pretend that you’re just feeding information into a computer. It’s not quite like the fields of data input in pre-written templates. It’s organic. Playtime.
When I last wrote, I did this, and it was fun, and I got usable material. But the best way to explain is probably just to show what I did and let people go from there.
TITLE: Castles May Crumble CHAPTER ONE: Red Skies >: MAIN CHARACTER SLOT _BLANK_ >: DRAFT PROTAG_MALE [write out test character 1] >: MALE1 COMPATIBILITY ... COMPATIBILITY SCORE 86% >: POV PATH EMPTY >: MOUNT POV PATH F F:\FIRSTPERSON\PAST POV Path mounted as F:\FIRSTPERSON\PAST F:\> TEST RUN Y/N? F:\> Y F:\> [write in first person, past tense. whatever comes to mind.] F:\> TEST RUN RESULTS ... F:\> INCOMPATIBLE ...BAD DIALOGUE ...WEAK OPEN F:\> UNMOUNT F POV PATH EMPTY >: MOUNT POV PATH T T:\THIRDPERSON\PAST POV Path mounted as T:\THIRDPERSON\PAST T:\> TEST RUN Y/N? T:\> Y T:\> [write in third person, past tense. whatever comes to mind.] T:\> TEST RUN RESULTS ... T:\> COMPATIBLE ...STRONG OPEN ...GOOD DESCRIPTION ...FEELS RIGHT