Writing Block — Cure #1

Writer's Block 1

Setting the atmosphere

If you’re like many people, you have trouble focusing when you sit in front of your computer in the stillness of the morning as your mind wanders and you doze off… again. (Or are startled awake by the begging of the children to come play.) You stare at the screen again and hate the pathetic feeling of inadequacy as you realize yet again that your attempt at writing does not even meet your standards, let alone that of the novels written by authors you secretly dream of readers comparing you with.

In this depression, you lack the words to describe the epic-ness you know your story could hold. How do you get in the mood for the scene? How do you set the atmosphere for it?

One simple way to bring yourself to the scene is to listen to music related to it. Sometimes it can be music from that time period or place—think of listening to old country music while writing a western barn raising, or of a classical waltz while writing of the meeting of two potential lovers in an earlier century. Keep the music going as you write. Imagine the characters hearing the songs and acting around them, having conversations with the tunes playing. What memories might they have based around the music? Remember that in the past there was much less listening to music and much more group singing of it.

But let’s say you despise country, or classical makes you fall asleep. Or maybe your masterpiece does not have music that fits its time or location. How can you get the needed energy to write without falling prey to the distraction of listening to the words of your favorite songs?

Epic music.

Just type those two words into youtube if you don’t have your own copies. Much of it is sound track music. Especially when you don’t know the movie, it serves to enliven your story by providing a sense of (musical) direction and anticipation. There are no words to distract you, and it carries all the emotions—the pain, suspense, joy, and thrill of life.

Just be careful to not keep looking at the cover pictures whenever the song reaches a climax! Though it sounds like an action scene, there’s just a picture. The climax is up to you as the writer.

Give it a try—let the music guide your emotions so your readers can make that comparison between you and your favorite author.

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