I’ve said it before and I’ll say it at least a hundred more times: Writer’s block is the bane of my existence. Knowing I need to put at least a couple words on paper but can’t seem to connect with the characters I’ve become friends with over the past several months is a horrible experience.
The only thing I’ve found slightly worse than not knowing what to write about occurs when I want to write—usually to add another chapter or two to whatever story I’m working on—and am excited to, but I can’t. I know what I want to happen next, but somehow I’m unable to form a sentence.
In situations like this, I like to work within the universe of my story without progressing the narrative.
What I mean by this is that I like to look at a different aspect of my storyline or characters and write about that in hopes that it’ll help get the juices flowing and I’ll be back to my mail storyline in no time at all.
To help you write within your story’s universe, here are some quick prompts to hopefully get you back on track.
Universe Writing Prompts
Get to know your characters and their setting better by working through some of these writing prompts:
- Your protagonist and/or antagonist is trending on social media. Why?
- Everyone has a secret. Write about what your protagonist is hiding and why.
- Write a scene where your protagonist is deciding what to make for dinner.
- Your protagonist just got an unexpected call. Who’s calling and why?
- Your protagonist ends up in an unlikely place. Where is it and how did they get there?
These writing prompts are a great way to better understand who your character is as a person. These prompts have absolutely nothing to do with your plot, but they may help you decide what comes next.
Writer’s block can sometimes be so bad that putting pen to paper is completely impossible. On the days you still want to be active and engaging with your story but can’t write, here are some non-writing prompts that may help clear your head:
- Cast your characters: This is something new I did with my latest WIP. It’s helped significantly so far being able to put a face to the actions I’m writing. I recommend visiting a royalty free site like Pixabay or Unsplash to find high-quality, professional portraits.
- Create a playlist: I like to think of my stories as movies that have yet to be filmed. Every movie has a soundtrack. What’s your story’s? You can also make a playlist for your protagonist and antagonist.
- Read: Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or tools to write.” Reading is essential to building your craft. Sometimes simply seeing how published authors phrase thing is all that’s needed to restart your creative brain. Not sure what to read next? Check out my monthly TBR blogs or post on the top books I read in 2020 to help you choose.
While writing every day is important, taking the necessary time away from writing is just as valuable. Spend some time casting your characters, creating a story playlist, or binging a new book to help get inspiration.
Even More Writing Prompts
Sometimes stepping away from your story is necessary. When you experience those days, here are some additional writing prompts that’ll help you tackle writer’s block in general, not just with your story:
- Write the first line five different times. This can either be for five different stories or five for the same.
- Choose a common event—such as grocery shopping, commuting to work, or cleaning the house—and make it suspenseful.
- Grab a book. Flip to a random page, and choose a random paragraph. Take the first and last sentence of the paragraph and re-write the middle section.
- Start a sentence, about two or three words. Let autocorrect finish the story.
- Consider writing a scene, short story, etc. in a different genre from what you usually write.
With these general writing prompts by your side, you’re sure to overcome your writer’s block in no time.
Conquer Writer’s Block Today
Are you ready to kick writer’s block to the curb? Then choose any of these writing prompts today and get started. When you’re finished, post what you came up with—whether it’s a completed or a snipped of a WIP—in the comments!