Throughout my career, I've experienced periodic writer's block, the same as many of my fellow authors. What interests me most about the phenomenon is the commonalities–symptoms and cures. I actually experienced a pretty severe block while I was working on my first draft of The Mating Game. Only then the book was titled "Heart of the Wolf".
Somehow, my own frustration became a source of inspiration as the hero, Zachary Hunter, a crime thriller author, copes with a severe case of writer's block. As the story begins, the heroine finds him on her front porch wearing nothing but an hideous orange dress...
“Oh, yes.” A smile blossomed on her lips and she giggled at long last. “Are you going to tell me how you wound up on my front porch in a dress?”
Zach cocked his head and sighed. “I went running in the woods last night to clear my head.”
Theresa stared with an arched brow. “Writer’s block again?”
“I haven’t written a word in days.”
As the story progresses, Zach experiences Blank Page Syndrome.
The pristine white page of Zach’s word processor formed a literary desert across the computer screen. He started a sentence, reworded it, and reworked it again. He composed a second sentence, left it incomplete, and began the third. In the end, he deleted the entire paragraph and returned to staring at the blank page.
He discusses his plot with his editor...
“I said,” she gritted out, “that I don’t buy Wesley’s actions in chapter twelve. Frankly, I feel it’s out of character for him to shoot McTavish, especially considering how long they’ve been friends…”
And the heroine...
“Theresa, the woman had the nerve to tell me that Wesley can’t shoot McTavish because it’s not in character.” He sprang to his feet, his outrage fueling a violent gesticulation of his arms.
Theresa gasped. “Wesley shot McTavish?”
“Yes.” His brow knit and confusion replaced some of his outrage. Absently, Zach removed his cuff links and set them on the dresser. Then he unbuttoned the remaining buttons on his shirt and shed the garment.
Theresa sputtered. “Oh, Zach, no. Wesley can’t shoot McTavish! They’re partners. They’re like brothers. It wouldn’t be right.”
And the heroine's six-year-old daughter...
Isabel pouted but pursued it no further. Eventually, she asked, “Have you figured out who
killed the taxi driver yet?”
|hosted on Morguefile|
He grunted. “I think so.” Then, “No, I’ve no bloody idea.”
“I think it was his wife.”
Zach stared at the girl’s dark mane of hair as it lifted from her shoulders. He waited until she swung back and asked, “How do you figure?”
“Because, it’s always the wife or husband. You told me so yourself. It was the wife in your last book—Abandon All Hope.”
And eventually he does break the block! Yeah!
Theresa stepped out of his way, coming to a stop beside Zach. She glanced at his fingers, which hung suspended above the keyboard. She could almost see the river of words rushing through his head. He chased the wording of a sentence, tossing various phrasings through his thoughts, and then made his choice. His fingers flew again.
Robert waited and watched, expecting a response.
Theresa’s finger poked his bicep. “Zach!”
He stopped typing and glanced up. “Sorry, I finally broke through my writer’s block.”
“That much is obvious,” Theresa said with an arched brow.
So there you go. Writer's block doesn't have to be endured alone. You can share your misery with your characters. :-)