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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tips for Curing Blank-Screenitis

I want to thank you, Kate, for honoring me with a spotlight on your blog. I’m so happy to be here and join you and your readers.
Fair warning: you are now entering into my world of total chaos ;)

Tips for Curing Blank-Screenitis

I’ve had this question asked of me a gazillion times: What’s the hardest part about writing? For me, it’s getting started. I don’t just mean getting started on a new novel; I mean getting started at writing, period. It could be a new scene, a new chapter, or even a guest post *wink*. My problem is zoning in, because my mind is a constant jumble of crazy. I’m telling you, you do not want to crawl inside my head. You will be gobbled up in a cacophony of random thoughts and left for dead.
Since I also have a full-time job, and family to enjoy, my writing time usually consists of snippets of time blocks, mostly after a full day of responsibilities. So being caught in a daze of mental nothingness is not an option for me.
What do I do? After many bouts of blank-screenitis, I’ve come up with some tricks that usually help me blast those blocks into oblivion. Here are a few of them:
§  10-Minute Free-Fall Brainstorming: This is the one that works for me the most. I do it pen-to-paper, and just go with whatever comes to mind. It could be a story, shopping list, character profiles, or what I’d do if I became a NYT Bestselling Author. You get the point. The important thing is to just keep the flow going, no editing, and no thinking!
§  Outlining: I’m not a plotter, but I’m also not a pantser. Story of my life — I just don’t fit in to a regimented category. I have a tendency to pants it for a while until I get stuck, and then I plot for a bit. Sometimes, I hand-write a rough outline about what my next scene is about to get the ideas flowing. Emphasis on the rough. It seems to help get my mind clicking with the story and flow.
§  Music: Music is a must for me while writing. It’s my way of tuning out the world around me. Ironically, it helps me concentrate. When I was writing Guardian Of Fate, I happened upon a song that fit the story in my head perfectly. Every time I hear it, it puts me in the mood of my characters and story. Sometimes all it takes is for me to listen to it to get me going. It’s still working for me with Seeker Of Fate, Book #2 in the Fate series.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve used to clear my head and get in the writing mood. They are in no way scientifically proven methods, but they’ve worked for me. If ever you’re in a writing rut, why not give them a try? Or maybe you have another great writing block breaker to share?

Blurb for Guardian Of Fate:
Fear of death is all too common. Visions of it chill the bones and skip heartbeats. Seeing it coming and knowing only you can rescue the soul of the victim from the fiery bowels of hell…that’s downright life-altering. 

Cassandra Cosgrove’s life was altered at the age of sixteen when she found out that it was her responsibility to save the lives, and ultimately the souls, of innocent victims targeted by Hell’s demons. As impossible as it seemed at first, she was able to live a fairly normal life, while secretly fulfilling her obligation as a Guardian of Fate. 

But years later Fate has its own plan when her visions begin drastically changing at the same time two mysterious men appear in her life. Cassandra suddenly finds herself caught in a battle between good and evil, with her own soul on the line. When it seems everyone in her life has a secret they’ve been hiding from her, who can she trust to be the Guardian of her Fate?

GOF Excerpt Link: http://www.ljkentowski.com/

Author Bio:
L.J. Kentowski is living in disguise as the author of her debut novel, Guardian Of Fate, working diligently on the subsequent novels in the Fate series. Her true identity as Supermom and Superwife, living in the Midwest with SuperDog must never be revealed without security clearance. Every day, after tucking in her 6yr old talking prodigy, she rips off her cape and delves into the world of angels, demons, and the in-betweens.

Author website: http://www.LJKentowski.com
Blog: http://www.ljwrites.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/laurajeanwrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LJKentowski


Mae Clair said...

Ahh, the dreaded blank-screenitis. I hate when that happens! :) I have one cure that almost always works when I have a WIP going, and that's to read over the last 1-2 scenes. It puts me back into the flow of the story and gets me geared up to move ahead. If I'm starting something new, as long as I can get two paragraphs down, it's normally enough to propel me ahead.

Great post, L.J.!

L.J. Kentowski said...

Thanks Mae! I've done that too. Even went into edit mode a few times to get it going! Great point! Thanks for stopping in :)

Kate Austin said...

LJ - I'm with you about the writing by hand. I have a particular type of pen I love, a very specific paper, and if I'm stuck, I always write by hand. I'll write the next scene or chapter or whatever. I also use a timer. Sit down for 30 minutes and write. Do not stop. Do nothing else. I can do anything for half an hour.

Thanks so much for letting us know about your cures -


L.J. Kentowski said...

Thank you for having me Kate! I am the same way on the paper. I have a writing notebook that I use for everything. I keep it near me all the time!