Breaking writer’s block as a Historical Romance Novelist
13th February 2013
Dear Aspiring Historical Romance Authors,
I was just thinking that it might be fun to share some of my tips on how I break writer’s block; especially since I am writing my second historical romance novel following the life of one of the supporting characters in Lilac Temptress. As you may know, many of us authors writing our first novel can run into all kinds of snags, hiccups, and even writer’s block along the way. And writer’s block is defined as running out of ideas to move the story forward. There is a lot of information out there on how to break writer’s block, however I will share with you what works for me, and I hope that some of my methods can work for you too.
This is how I break writers block:
- I join a writer’s group. Join a small group of no more than 8 people so that each of you can really take the time to share your writing out loud with each other. Make sure you meet in person in a nice, calm, and relaxing environment. If you don’t have a local group that you can join, consider creating your own group. There are great websites out there like Meetup.com that can help you start your own group free of charge. People in groups usually share writing samples with each other while the host of the group creates small writing assignments for group members to complete before they meet up gain. After a period of 2-3 months of writing with your group, throw a party and invite your friends and family, and share something that you have written while you were a member of your writer’s group. It’s great fun, and the applause you get from your friends, family, and peers is very encouraging.
- I talk to a good friend about my ideas. Share your story with a trusted friend. Often times your close friends can offer ideas to help get those creative wheels in your head turning again.
- I read, read, read fiction books, and those that are not necessarily in the romance genre. It helps to read a favorite author who inspires you. And it is nice to take a break from what you are commonly writing to give your mind a mental pause from romance. My favorite author is Anne Rice—author of all things otherworldly (vampires, werewolves, magical beings, etc.)
- I purchase a novelist notebook. Why would you do this? Because, books of this type are great guides for writing a novel that instructs you to take an in-depth look into your storyline, plot, and characters in a fun and exciting way.
- I make sure I have a clear outline of my story before I begin, and I work linearly. This is my advice as I have noticed that my husband, an epic fantasy writer, does not always work linearly, and many times he has to go back and reconnect the storyline because he has writer’s block.
- I always carry a pen and paper or voice recorder. You never know when you might quickly have to write down a sudden onslaught of creative thoughts that you definitely don’t want to forget. Inspiration can hit you at any moment.
- I write at a certain time. Write at a time of day when you feel most creative, I wrote late at night between 10pm and 2am—The night belongs to poets and mad men.
- I write on a schedule. Even if you are not feeling very inspired during your scheduled time, just trying to get a few words written down might help encourage more words to flow.
- I research my novels era. Do the research of the time period you are writing about. If you don’ t understand or know much about your time period, it will be a lot more difficult to write a story within it, or one that is convincing.
- I have an idea of what my characters look like. Find pictures of people that you want your characters to look like and put them someplace where you can see them. I tend to search Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to find actors who have the looks to fit the roles of my characters. Using pictures to create your characters personas’, allows you to imagine what they might do in a given situation.
That’s it! I hope some of the above helps, and I wish you continued success as a novelist. Happy writing!
I wish you happiness in your life, plenty of romance, and above all else, love.