Not sure if Writers Block is the correct term, I've run out of ideas!
I need to come up with 1 more short story to complete a selection, but while before ideas have popped into my head at random times, it's just a blank just now! Any advice on what to do? Am I thinking about it too hard? Should I just relax and let the idea come along? It's so frustrating knowing if I could come up with something around 7000 words, I'd be done!
I'm not asking people to come up with ideas for me, just suggestions on ways to get the creative juices flowing again.
Most of the time wirter's block is not about not having an idea, it's about implementing an idea.
When I get ideas I save them in a file labeled simply "raw ideas." I have far more ideas than time to deal with them.
Most of my ideas come from my daydreams, things I think about as I am driving or walking, that start scenes going in my head. You could start with "what if..." and add something genre-specific. What if your dog started talking to you? What if you walked out your door and your car had changed model, yet evertything else was in order? What if your wife/husband/SO disappeared without a word or trace? What if you became convinced your neighbor was a genuine vampire/alien/seral killer? And so on.
Ideas are easy. It's putting them into story form that takes work.
I tried an experiment some time ago that was a lot of fun. I selected a random word or phrase, for example the word "inventory." I determined not to attempt to develop a plot, setting or characters. I put the word in storage and got it out every now and then and looked at it then I put it away again. One week later I started writing. After I completed that story I selected another phrase. This one I came from an off phrase I heard a little girl say to herself in a mirror, "Mirrors are so difficult to deal with." I repeated the process until I got a whole set of very interesting stories that had some really cool linkage. They were a ton of fun to write and I had no idea where they would go.
Give it a shot.
Also read Richard Hugo's "Triggering Town" which was written with poetry in mind but works just as well for fiction writing.
Thanks folks. I am keen to write something based a highwayman, not a specific one like Dick Turpin, and in the horror genre but I can't get my head round it just now. I have two novelletes in my head just now, maybe I need to write these first, but its frustrating being this close to getting the collection of shorts available, but not close enough. I'd sooner get that last story in from the start, as I know the collection needs it. My first collection is picking up on sales.
I'll try some of the things suggested, and fingers crossed!!!
Perhaps you aren't blocked so much as burned out. I can only speak for myself here but often when I have one of those 10K days I spend the next morning feeling as though I'm trying to push a needle through a block of ice. If running on the treadmill for a couple of miles doesn't seem to be doing it, I take the next several hours to focus unrelated projects. Work on a cover, edit something that's been percolating, get caught up on social media (which I'm really bad at, by the way) or something like that.
Thanks again folks. I do think I probably need to just switch off for a bit, and stop thinking about it. It worries me that ideas used to just pop into my mind, which I could develop, but that what should be an easy short story just isn't there! But I do have a lot on as well just now. Hopefully inspiration will come again. I'll start work on something else that's already mostly planned out in the meantime.
Most of my "ideas" come after I've gotten up in the middle of the night, gone to the kitchen to eat something and then go back to bed. Of course, these "ideas" have sometimes scared the crap out of me; nothing like waking up in a cold sweat and the feeling of overwhelming danger.
But, it could be all the stuff I read and it just gets jumbled together when I sleep...
When I'm blocked...it helps me to take a day off from everything and go have some fun...come back renewed...
Read everything you have written so far on the story.
If that doesn't re-inspire and excite you then how will it your reader feel reading it?
Scrap the entire project (do not delete, save it to drafts) and start something fresh and new.
Come back to this at a point in time when it once again beckons you...and perhaps by then you'll have have lived a little more and have something new to add to the story-line you discovered along the way...I have some things I've been sitting on for years that have recently become very precious and dear to me and awe inspiring...I've been writing like crazy!
Just because you have a great story line doesn't mean you can finish it just now...
Be okay with that...
Its alright to give yourself permission to let it go and begin a new project that you will feel sparked by...
All writers go through this...don't feel frustrated by it...don't let it trap you..you have heard it, we all have...JUST WRITE... The rest will fall in place if you keep on pouring out your heart...
There are a bunch of pre-made covers on there that I could easily build a story around if I had time, but recently I feel that the more I've been writing the more ideas I've had. That's just one site, too. Pretty much every cover designer does cheap pre-made covers so just have a browse and see if you feel any inspiration.
Thanks folks, I have started to write the next in my series. Maybe an idea will spin from that, or maybe now I'm not concentrating on coming up with a short story, something will pop into my head! I think I have sussed the problem. Everything I think of seems to fit better into the series! Such as the one I have just started, it was originally planned as a stand alone short story but it was also perfect for being expanded and included in the series. So it seemed to make sense for me to just concentrate on that just now.