Writer’s block hits us all at some point. It can seem impossible to move forward and throwing out the project and starting over often feels like the only logical solution. But sometimes all you need is a little prodding, someone to ask questions that get the wheels turning again. Below are 20 writing prompts to beat writer’s block.
1) What is something your character doesn’t know about character but should? How would this information change their actions?
2) What is something your character has never done before and might consider trying?
3) What is the last thing you want your character to do now? What if s/he did it anyway?
4) What emotion do you want the reader to feel during your book? What could the character do now to evoke that emotion?
5) What would happen if one of your secondary characters showed up now?
6) Try changing the weather, would that effect your character’s current situation?
7) What if your story was taking place during a different season? Would that change the situation your character is in now?
8) If your character has a love interest what would happen if they suddenly appeared or disappeared at this moment?
9) Try adding a new character who could shake things up. Add a madman or a persistently annoying child who asks questions and makes your character, and thus you, think about what’s really going on.
10) Think about what kind of story you are working on. Is it about the character and their internal journey? Is it about a marvelous place that your character has found themselves in? Is it about finding an object or defeating a villain? Step back to the big picture and make flashcards for all the major plot points before and after your current writer’s block. Does a pattern emerge? Is it easier to see what kind of scene you need to bridge the gap?
11) Go back to the last decision your character made. What would change if they had done something different?
12) What is everyone else in the story doing now? If you aren’t changing POV, can you find another way to make your MC intersect with a secondary character to incorporate their storyline?
13) Get some Mad Libs. Try a few and see if they inspire any new ideas.
14) Talk to someone about your story. Ask them to guess what happens next, without telling them you don’t know yourself. See if they can come up with something you can use.
15) If possible discuss your story with a child. Ask them questions about what they would do in your character’s situation.
16) Go the library or your personal bookshelf and randomly choose a book. Think of the major events of that book. What would your character do in those situations? Could any of them be applied to your writer’s block?
17) Go to Google Images or Pintrest and type in an element from your book just to see what comes up. Pick one and do an exercise where that image is the location or symbol of your next scene.
18) Change the gender of your character. (Not permanently) Would they have an different options in their current situation if they were a different gender?
19) What is your character’s greatest fear? Greatest wish? What if one of those appeared right now. How would that change your scene and lead to the next one?
20) Listen to some music and unwind. The music itself may give you an idea. Just the act of relaxing and taking your mind off of it for a little while could be what your brain needs.
Share in the comments your favorite method of beating writer’s block.