So, I tend to get lots of e-mails with writing questions. I also tend to not blog enough. So, I’m going to combine the two into one. If YOU have a question you want answered, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the first one, from Mike P.
I am an aspiring writer, and have a hit a little roadblock. The ideas and characters in my head are not translating well when being put on paper. I am using a “snowflake method” right now to gather my ideas, and they are far away from what I originally imagined. Is it best for me to continue writing these characters and story, or go back to a point where I was happier with who they were, and start over again?
Hey Mike -
Writer’s Block (or being trapped in a story, which is roughly the same thing) comes from one place only. Something is wrong in the previous construction.
Think of it like building a house. If the foundation is wrong, the walls aren’t going to be straight, no matter how long you stand on it. We’re told stories constantly from birth, and have an instinctive understanding of structure. It’s how we know when a punchline is coming in a joke, or how far we are in a movie or TV show. We’ve seen enough media by the time we’re ten years old to understand basic structure. Especially if you want to grow up to be a writer.
So, look, I can’t tell you if you should abandon the project/characters or not, but, I would say, take a few steps back and look at the big picture to figure out what’s ‘off.’