I’m pleased to be joined by the author of Who Killed Anne-Marie? today. CM Thompson has written an exclusive Guest Post for my readers. She has some excellent advice for any writers suffering from writer’s block!
Writers Block? Writers smlock!
So you are here because you are going insane or possibly just out of curiosity, it’s alright, we all experience little sparks of insanity, curiosity, that’s not the problem, the problem is that you are sitting somewhere, staring at a blank or even worse, a half written page, thinking what do I do? What do I say next? What do I do to occupy my mind whilst those precious seconds tick away, tick! Tick!
So I thought I would share with you the things I do when I can’t write, which is most of the time. Some might argue that you shouldn’t take writing advice from someone who only produces one book every two-three years, especially someone who can’t even pronounce semi-colon let alone use one correctly but they are not here. The only disclaimer I will add is that these pieces of advice are not for everyone, you can ignore them, I am too busy procrastinating to hunt anyone down. If they work for you, then please dedicate your book / first born child / fourth born child / next glass of water to me.
I especially recommend reading my books, they are enthused with a powerful spell that grants creativity to anyone who reads them, but be warned they also carry a powerful curse that befalls anyone who bad mouths them.
Seriously though, reading is an obvious one I know, but read outside your genre, read good books, read bad books, read for pleasure, read for research. What do you do when you can’t read anymore? You…
Watch TV / films / theatre shows
This is slightly weird advice from someone who doesn’t have a TV anymore, but it’s good to get a sense of what other people enjoy, it goes without saying don’t waste all your time watching TV or you will never get anything done but it’s a way of seeing a story in a different format, seeking out a different form of inspiration. I started off writing fanfics for my favourite TV series (Sailor Moon if you must know, then Gundam Wing then Supernatural and Criminal Minds)
I personally prefer watching theatre shows for inspiration, I have seen some dire shows, and I mean absolutely dire plays recently but yet they have inspired me, I start thinking about what they did wrong, what I would change, what I would do differently then an idea starts forming.
Sometimes taking yourself out of your comfort zone or out of your rut by seeing something different, (or reading something you wouldn’t normally read) might give you that new perspective on your writing, a new way of looking at things.
I love walking, so many ideas come when I am charging down pavements (and yes it’s annoying to have to stop and write those down, if you see me dawdling on a pavement, phone in hand, I could be writing out a new idea of how to kill someone or I could be checking my emails, either way, approach carefully.) By walking around I have found ideas for new potential burial sites, (fictional ones of course) worked through writing blocks and found ideas for new characters.
Wash your writing clothes
No one likes a stinky author, seriously, please. Specially after all that walking around.
Food nourishes the mind, but sometimes even the monotonous act of chopping, preparing can help, something to keep your hands busy but your mind free (I bear no responsibility for cut fingers, you should still be watching what you are doing) Think about the little details, would your character cook this? Would they eat it? How do they eat? Are they a nibbler or a shoveller? People have so many quirks, weird habits etc, think about how you want to present their personality through those quirks.
Also writing is a lot like cooking, there are some formulas you must stick to, others require experimentation, sometimes you will have amazing results and other times specular failures. A failure doesn’t stop you from cooking and it should never stop you from writing.
When I am in the early stages of starting a book and really can’t be bothered, I start drawing out my characters. They don’t have to be perfect drawings, they can be stick people (no one else is going to see them) but start thinking about what they wear, how they style their hair, how do they see themselves? How do others see them?
Spend times with your loved ones
When all else fails, spend time with friends and family, they are bound to do something or say something worth writing about eventually.
Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour. Who Killed Anne-Marie? is available now in paperback and as an e-book. You can order a copy online here: Who Killed Anne-Marie?
From the back of the book
Daniel and Anne-Marie’s marriage isn’t just on the rocks, it’s about to go six feet under. Anne Marie Mills is out of work, out of love and out of whisky. Everyone else is out of patience. When Anne-Marie is found dead who is to blame? The neighbours who despised her drunken rants? The husband who wondered how much more he could take? Or is there another killer in the neighbourhood?
About the author
CM Thompson lives in Nottingham, she has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Portsmouth. Her first novel, What Lies in the Dark, came out in 2014. She doesn’t have much to put in her bio because she spends too much time reading and playing Candy Crush. She can be found on Twitter @cmtwrites
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