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September 04, 2017


Hank Phillippi Ryan

I love these! Sometimes when I am stuck, I read what I have already written out loud. It's sort of gets me into the book, and then what comes next, what comes next naturally, or sometimes just flows out!

Another thing I do, happily I have a patient husband, is to tell the story to someone else. And when you ask: what would happen next… ?It becomes much more clear.

Maybe the key, in both instances, is to change the way you think about your book, away from typing and into talking .


Great tips, Donna Andrews. I especially like the brainstorming on what needs to happen next.

JJ Toner

When I'm stuck, I sometimes write a scene where the antagonists talk about how they're going to screw with my main character. Not for inclusion in the book, just as a starting handle.

Elaine Viets

Not stupid tips at all, Donna. When I'm stuck, I leave my home and go for a walk Sometimes a change of scene helps me move on with my writing.

Ellen Byron

Awesome! How exactly does a writing marathon work? Love to try it.

It's easy for me to fall into the internet wormhole, so first thing I do is open the file I'm working on. I find this simple task shortens my procrastination by a tremendous amount. It's totally psychological, but knowing the file is open and waiting for me inspires the use of it.

Cindy Sample

Great tips, Donna. I particularly liked # 3 since I have a multitude of non-writing projects to work on. Writing will provide a wonderful distraction! I'm going to mention the writing marathon to our local SinC chapter. Sounds like a fun and worthwhile event.


Hank, I also like reading aloud. And yes, Elaine, a change of scenery can change my thinking, too.

On the writing marathon: all you need is a big room with chairs and tables that you can use for the whole day, or at least a full morning or afternoon. Bringing some power strips helps. And it works a lot better if it's a room that allows eating and drinking. And then you get a few people to commit to showing up and writing, and voila! You have a writing marathon.

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