Inside the Fiction Factory – Part 4

Writer’s Block

I’ve been fortunate never to have experienced this. I recognise that some writers do, but it is something I haven’t had to deal with. I have days when I can’t be bothered. I have days when I can spend a couple of hours and only manage a few sentences, but I don’t stress about it, and I don’t consider it as block. Some drafts I have completed within a month, others have taken three months, even six. Mileage varies, depending on what else is happening around me, and whether I can shut everything else out to write. I had a bad period during the pandemic. I found it hard going, but I kept turning up every morning and making the effort. That was while drafting The Kill Chain. It was a long, slow process, but I completed it. The effort was a surprise, as it was my eleventh novel and I was confident of being able to draft it in a couple of months. It wasn’t to be. It was hard going, but I completed it.

I think the fact I did have a difficult write, has led to a renewed confidence. In the last six months, I’ve drafted book two of my Sci-Fi series The Copernicus Coercion, written a novella called EVA, and worked through the edits for The Kill Chain on it’s way to publication. I’ve also outlined a new novella, planned out a brand new novel to be picked up later this year, and started work drafting a sequel to The Kill Chain, entitled The Kill Switch. I’m busier than ever, and I have no shortage of ideas. My next task is to sort out my time management. It’s not bad, but I feel it could be worked on.

The best advice I ever read was from the author David Bain, who said if you feel you have writer’s block, then write about whatever it is you are writing about. I would also add, that writing, for me, is not just about putting words down on the page (though of course that is crucial, but stay with me please!) The process of writing involves a lot of thinking, so I’m in the habit of always thinking about plots and storylines, and being on the lookout when I’m out and about for possible stories, grabbing snatches of overheard conversations and constantly making notes (yes, that’s putting words on the page!) You never know when the next idea is coming and where it will come from. Be ready for it, and believe it will come.

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