As I’ve said many times on this blog, most writers struggle with writer’s block at some point in their writing.  Sometimes, the problem shifts in a day or two.  At other times, the writer is forced to go back through the manuscript and see where they have gone wrong.  A bit like a motorist retracing a route to see what wrong turning they took. 

Elsewhere, I’ve posted on the factors that drive stories forward and the importance of keeping lists of story questions, along with a brief discussion on types of viewpoint and how the choice of VP might effect story telling.   In some of the recent revision and editing, I’ve relied heavily on lists of scribbled notes of story questions, particularly as I’m working in three viewpoints and dealing with present, past and sudden memory flashbacks.   But sometimes, none of these ideas help and writer’s block remains.  What happens then?

Apart from removing the troublesome section of writing from the manuscript, I can think of just two possible ways of solving the problem.   Take a break for a week or two before reading the story (this never works for me, as I’m driven to completing the novel). Alternatively, you could work away from the computer and try brainstorming.  Scribble down story ideas without really thinking about plot or logic.  Then, see if you can develop any of the ideas.   Check the new ideas against the list of story questions.  Is there scope for fresh development in the story?  Often, a new way forward will mean having to get rid of old material, sometimes cherished material, but occasionally writers find a way of bring back some of the old material at a later date.


2 thoughts on “Scribbling and Brainstorming

  1. A dear friend (another mystery writer) and I will often get together online and do brainstorming sessions. It’s so nice to be able to bounce ideas off of one another. We also keep encouraging each other. He’s been a valuable asset to me when writer’s block rears its ugly head.

  2. Hi doggonedmysteries, thanks for commenting.

    The online communication with your writer friend sounds great. Feedback is crucial.

    Best wishes,


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