Very poorly, apparently. Right now I’m working on a chapter that really doesn’t want to come out. I have no idea what the characters would say or do, and they aren’t helping me by giving any hints. Often when I am struggling with a scene or chapter, the problem isn’t that I have writers block, it’s that I’m trying to write the wrong scene. Although I might believe that this is what needs to happen next, the best thing for the story and my sanity might be to rethink what’s happening and try going with a different scenario.
The best thing for me to do is step back from what I’m writing and go for a walk. Often when I’m walking I have internal conversations with my characters. That may make me a little crazy, but I never claimed to be otherwise. Anyway, these conversations could take place during the scene that I’m trying to write or during some other part of the book. Maybe it has nothing to do with the story at all, but having these conversations really helps me get to know my characters, and that makes them easier to write.
Another thing I do when I feel I can’t work on a story any longer is to work on something else. There’s a reason why I have four comics on the go, when I can’t come up with an idea for one, I move on to another. I don’t tend to work the same way with writing. If I did, I’d probably never get anything finished. However, I do often have other ideas for books in my mind that I can play with for a bit while I try to get back into the groove of writing my main story.
Sometimes the only thing that can be done is to just struggle through the block. Writing isn’t easy, though sometimes I have myself fooled. It’s work, and sometimes that work is hard. I just have to worry about getting that next chapter done, or that next page, or paragraph or sentence, whatever it takes to keep moving. It doesn’t need to be good it just needs to get done. Good comes with rewrites.
Time for me to follow my own advise.