questions about writer's block and writing style

because I can't seem to get my style back xD

POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:16 am

Hey guys! I was wondering about improvement. My writing is not nearly as good as it used to be and I just can't shake it. I've read the Improvement page on the RP guide and various pages on Sie's Forum Roleplay site.

Are there any resources that have helped you guys? Good books maybe? Or extra guides. I'm not sure. Or any extra tips you can think of! Or is time and practice just the best thing? I feel like my opportunities for threads and plots suffer when I do not write well, or others believe I do not. (Not that anyone has been rude in any way! <3) :( I look back on my older threads with Jacinto especially and I just do not understand how a hiatus can hurt my writing style so badly.

Anyway, all rambling aside--Those resources linked above are really great and I'm so glad they're out there. But what helps you guys out of writer's block? Or how do you flesh out your writing style? I cannot seem to get mine back.

I've been shy to ask this, but I figured I should because what good am I doing myself if I don't? I love you guys, I'm so glad to be back to a board with such friendly people! :)


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POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:17 am

When I get writer's block, even if it's just for a couple of weeks, I always feel like the posts which come directly after are rubbish. I need to be in a "flow" to be really proud of my posts. So yeah, I'd advise powering through if you can!

One resource that I like is writershelpingwriters.net - they're the people who wrote the Emotion Thesaurus, the Positive & Negative Trait thesaurus, etc. And last time I checked there were a ton of tips and articles on there :3 Although some of them might have migrated over to onestopforwriters.com, which is subscription based.
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POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:21 am

I'm with Rat: powering through writer's block seems to be the best for me, too.

This might seem silly, but I've found over the years that I tend to hit dry spells with my writing more frequently when I don't read. If I go weeks without picking up a book that really has an impact on my ability and inspiration to write. I'm not sure why, but reading seems to recharge my creativity and encourages me to post :)

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POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:24 am

Whenever I get writers block the way I usually get through it is by going off and writing something completely different for a short while. It keeps me in practise for writing in general and sometimes making a breakthrough on another project gets me pumped to write for whatever I was blocked over before. I'll echo Rat's advice to power through; even if you hate what you write for a stuck bit it can make writing the stuff after it easier, and then you can just go back and edit the stuff you don't like. I always find it easier to make writing I've done badly good, than to write good the first time, and obsessing over trying to do that just stresses me and slows me down.

And when it comes to your writing style, READ. Find authors whose styles of writing you really like and read their stuff constantly, absorb the bits of their style you like into your own style. It both motivates you to write your own stuff, helps you improve your style and is fun; there's no reason not to! :D

When it comes to trying to regain your style after a big break, I've had some trouble with that recently. I write some fanfics as well as my Souls stuff and I've recently had a roughly 6 month gap since I last updated and I've had massive writers block for it and trouble getting back into the style. One thing that had helped me is rereading my old work as though I hadn't written it, and now I'm going through and re-editing some old chapters. It's helped me get my style back on track, and as a bonus I'm improving some of the old bits that I didn't do quite so well.

Another thing that's worked for me; If you're really stuck on a particular thing you want to write, try breaking it down. In the above fanfic one of the things I was stuck on a particular conversation and I ended up drafting it over a bunch of different stages. Starting with really vague descriptions of what I wanted to happen, then I wrote out a version of the scene in script format with nothing but dialogue, then I started putting all that together.

What you're actually doing is important as well, you've gotta be comfortable! For whatever reason I find that I get loads of muse when I travel, and so like 80% of my souls posts these days begin life written into my journal while I'm on a train or sitting in my car waiting for a meeting, and then I only put them onto a computer to sharpen up and then post later on. Just in general, I find pen and paper a better format to draft stuff out in. Not saying that either of those will definitely work for you but if you're having trouble writing sat at your computer, then try some other things out and see if that helps; the whole writers spending ages in cafes and writing there stereotype exists for a reason!

POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:42 am

Wow there is a ton of great advice here!! Totally agree with Rat, Mandi and Alex!

I'm not a terribly involved writer - Souls is my only writing outlet, and I am in the bad habit of not reading anything! I know that's bad (book recommendations, anyone? :,D). When I hit a dry spell, it hits hard, so I totally feel you. It sucks :(

But I agree that sometimes just pushing out posts or other forms of writing, even if they aren't up to your standards, is one way to get through it.

In art at least, the way I deal with it is like this: during a time that I am very productive, I start tons and tons of projects and get them going like a quarter or halfway. Then, when artist block hits, I am able to still be productive because I've already started myself off (like Alex was saying about reworking old drafts) and it's much easier to get back into something when you clearly see ways of improving it (leaving something half-finished and coming back to it, you can't help but get this itch like, "oh I should have drawn the leg like this" etc etc).

I also agree with Alex about redirecting your attention, sometimes I just need to rest my little overheated brain!

Maybe watch a movie, or a tv series, or read a new webcomic or a good short fiction from a magazine. Find inspiration in other media and enjoy yourself. I find that's the quickest way to get inspired, just by being delighted by the creations of other people, and using that to motivate yourself to create something too!
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POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:45 am

Writers block .... hmm. That's like my constant default state xD

I've always found that making the first post is the hardest; once I've gotten one post done on a specific character, I typically am then good to post on that character. Of course, making that first post is never fun and often the quality isn't as good as I would like for it to be, something I've accepted that will happen no matter what. I also tend to struggle swapping between characters, as such I generally post on one character all in one block before swapping, which has really helped me get into the swing of things -- because I tend to re-hit my block as soon as I go to write someone else. Essentially -- it's gonna suck, but powering through and getting that first post done is usually the key to get into the flow of posting for me!

That said (and I know this is certainly not the case for everyone), hands down the most efficient way of getting out of writers block for me has always been to have people outright nag me to post xD

-isn't much help-

If i can't power through then i bullet point very general things I'd want to happen in the post. I then slowly elaborate using simple words and poor English -- aim low and nothing fancy. Then when I've fleshed out what i want to happen, I add all the fluff, swap sentences around and work on the structure to make it more logical / more varied vocab.

Aside from that, as others said -- reading is a huge inspiration!
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POSTED: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:42 pm

I didn't expect such a response <3 you guys are great, and thank you for the advice!
I have some reading to do :) that's probably the biggest thing. I really haven't been reading much fiction and that's probably why too. I've been focused on school and non-fiction/factual literature (which doesn't help me out on 'souls AT ALL) and I think I need to give myself a break and read some fiction.

I will try all of these points, thanks again! :D


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