Many of us love to write within the realms of ghosts, faeries, vampires, shape shifters, and were wolves. Some use the muses of aliens, demons, and the like. What happens when one is writing such and they get a block? What happens when you’re writing something that comes to your mind and then you pick up a random book and it seems as if the story has already been written by someone else? Ever have any of this happen to you? Wonder what to do about it? I wish I had the answers. For writer’s block, we’ve all been there. Suddenly the story just hits a dead end and nothing seems to flow just right. For me, I step away from it. I try to relax my brain that seems to always be firing in different directions. It is a common thing for me to be writing one story and get an idea for another one. So that leaves me to wonder if I’m schizophrenic or something. Perhaps me and Sybil Dorsett should have a Girl’s Night or something. I hate it when I’m right at the peak of the story I’m working on and then nothing. Its like being on a roller coaster and you’ve psyched yourself up for the exhilaration of that drop that is within sight only to have it level out and stop back at the starting gate. Screams from the Bell Jar anyone?
I have tried to make it a point to not read any books that even resemble my main characters until I have finished a story I’m working on. Nothing takes the wind out of my sails more than spending hours and even days writing a story then in my free time pick up a book and feel as if I have plagiarized it in some way. For instance, I was working on this idea of a Highland warrior that had been cursed inside a mirror that was a portal to some sort of netherworld version of hell. I had a hundred or so pages written when I picked up a book by a well known author and there were similarities such as her main character was a Highlander that had been spelled into a mirror. Now that book and my story were different but they still had that same thing of using a mirror as entrapment and had been seeking a way out of it. They had both been thrust into a modern world they didn’t understand. I just filed my story into a folder for a later date. I felt deflated and still do over it. However, being a writer means never giving up. At some point I will go back over the pages I have written and try to make something out of it and tweek it here and there. Who knows, I may just do a total overhaul like I did with my recent publication, Cursed Awakening available through http://www.xoxopublishing.com. If I can’t, which for me can’t is just not an option, then I have to move on and hope my next story is more original. I think I’ve said it more than once that I do not want to be the type of author who gleans from the work of others. That to me is not writing; its copying. There is one book series that seems to do just that and it is a widely popular series with housewives everywhere. Then again, who am I to critique someone else’s originality even though I read all three books twice and still found them to be gleaned from another series written by another author. I wish I could go all Yoda here and have some sage writer’s advice that would clear up these problems.
What I have learned thus far: Talk to other authors. Most authors who have more than a few works published whether self or otherwise have tips and tricks. This is free advice and if they are really prominent authors, you may have the Holy Grail there. Next, don’t over think when it comes to a block. Step away from it. Don’t obsess over it. Relax and take in a show or something. Don’t just hit delete or develop anxiety over it. That serves no purpose but to cause undo aggravation and who knows, you might just be on the cusp of a Best Seller that will take the book market by storm. When it comes to the problem of thinking or feeling that your story is similar to something already in publication step away and think your way through the story. Re work it if you can. Like I said, I have made a rule unto myself: whatever the subject or main character I’m basing my story on I steer clear of reading books under the same topic. If I am writing about a vampire, I steer clear of vampire books and even movies. Writing is a passion and any true author will tell you that. It isn’t something to make yourself miserable over. Just think if Michelangelo or Picasso had pressed their work and hadn’t taken time to work their art they would have had nothing to show for it. Their creativity would have been killed off. So don’t over think and don’t work yourself into a frenzy. So when you feel you are para-normally disturbed, just remember to take some time outside of your padded cell and avoid the little red pill.