Friday, December 31, 2021

Karen S. Wiesner: Brainstorming: The Cure for Writer's Block (Writer's Craft Article)

Writer's Craft Article by Karen S. Wiesner

Brainstorming: The Cure for Writer's Block

Is writer's block an actual thing, or just plain laziness? Or, do you sometimes get to the middle of a project and find the process isn't working as well as it was or should be anymore? Is that writer's block, and if it is, what can you do to get moving again? I think I've found the cure for whatever it is that blocks or stalls writers, makes them hem and haw and avoid sitting down to write, or sends their brain on the fritz at the sight of a blank page.

Brainstorming is what turns an average story into an extraordinary one. It’s the magical element every writer marvels about in the process of completing a book. In Sometimes the Magic Works, fantasy author Terry Brook says that dreaming (a term referring to the back-and-forth process of brainstorming in the mind) opens the door to creativity and allows the imagination to invent something wonderful. It happens when your mind drifts to take you to a place you’ve never been so you can come back and tell readers about it. Possibly this is where writers got such a bad rap with those who see us as drooling zombies who are daydreaming constantly. Little do they realize that, until a writer has brainstormed adequately, she won’t have a story to tell.

Something every author covets is the ability to sit down to a blank screen or page and begin to work immediately. The secret to doing that is brainstorming! When you brainstorm constantly and productively during both the outlining and writing processes, you’ll always be fully prepared to begin writing without agonizing over the starting sentences or paragraph.

Notice I specified that you should brainstorm productively if you want the writing process to go smoothly and quickly without hiccups. That’s where your scene-by-scene story outline comes in. While creating a blueprint of every scene in your book, you won’t face writer’s block when you sit down to write each day. The day or week before you begin writing, start brainstorming on that scene. I also start brainstorming on upcoming projects sometimes years in advance. If I run into trouble with any book, I can fall back on continuous brainstorming to figure out another "spark" to invigorate the plot and compel it forward again. In desperate times, I set a project aside to allow time to work out the issues on the backburner of my mind with creative and constant brainstorming.

Oh, did you see what I just did here? I took away any excuse an author has not to sit down and immediately start writing. Oops. Make writer's block a thing of the past. Make 2022 the year you beat it by brainstorming constantly.

Karen S. Wiesner is the author of COHESIVE STORY BUILDING:

Do you have any tips for staving off writer's block? Leave a comment to tell me about it!

Happy writing!

Find out more about COHESIVE STORY BUILDING here:

** Exciting announcement:**

I've gotten the rights back to the last three writing reference titles that were originally published by Writer's Digest Books (and later sold at auction to Penguin Random). In 2022, they'll be released in a craft writing collection. Here are the details: 

3D Fiction Fundamentals Collection

by award-winning author Karen S. Wiesner

covers the A to Z's of crafting the highest quality fiction including how to:

·       Brainstorm and work productively to ensure that each stage in the writing process from prewriting to polishing produces masterful results the first time around. 

·       Create an outline so complete it actually qualifies as the first draft of your book, allowing your first written draft to be final-draft quality. 

·       Develop realistically three-dimensional and cohesive characters, plots, settings, relationships, and scenes so life-like and memorable your readers will be diehard fans. 

·       Effectively prepare for a series in advance to prevent painted-in-a-corner scenarios in order to keep fans coming back eagerly for each and every installment. 

·       Learn innovative techniques to write a complex sequence of stories that require overarching series arcs and immense world- and character-building. 

·       Craft sizzling back cover, series, and high-concept blurbs for describing, promoting, and selling your books. 

·       Maximize your potential and momentum for becoming a career author indefinitely.

With step-by-step guidelines, instructions, and tips throughout that are flexible and clearly written, imparting a layman's ease of understanding and can-do motivation, this collection may be the only writing craft books you'll ever need. Each volume has a bonus companion booklet available presented in usable digital format or paperback that includes all the aids from the main book that you can use in your own writing--and extras!

The seven volumes and bonus companion booklets in this collection are:

1. First Draft Outline formerly published by Writer's Digest Books as First Draft in 30 Days {A Novel Writer's System for Building a Complete and Cohesive Manuscript}

Bonus Companion Booklet for First Draft Outline

2. Cohesive Story Building formerly published by Writer's Digest Books as From First Draft to Finished Novel {A Writer's Guide to Cohesive Story Building}

Bonus Companion Booklet for Cohesive Story Building

3. Writing the Standalone Series formerly published by Writer's Digest Books as Writing the Fiction Series {The Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas}

Bonus Companion Booklet for Writing the Standalone Series

4. Writing the Overarching Series {or How I Sent a Clumsy Girl into Outer Space}

Bonus Companion Booklet for Writing the Overarching Series

5. Three-Dimensional Fiction Writing formerly published by Writer's Digest Books as Bring Your Fiction to Life {Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity}

Bonus Companion Booklet for Three-Dimensional Fiction Writing Dead or Lifeless Fiction {A Writer's Guide to Deep and Multifaceted Development and Progression of Characters, Plots, and Relationships}

6. CPR for Dead or Lifeless Fiction {A Writer's Guide to Deep and Multifaceted Development and Progression of Characters, Plots, and Relationships}

Bonus Companion Booklet for CPR for Dead or Lifeless Fiction

7. Writing Blurbs That Sizzle--And Sell!

Bonus Companion Booklet for Writing Blurbs That Sizzle--And Sell!


More details about this at

Karen Wiesner is an award-winning, multi-genre author of over 145 titles and 16 series. Visit her here:

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