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Uninspired? Here are five things you can try.

We’ve all been there: the book is going fine enough and the story is solid, but inspiration is gone. No matter how much you stare at the screen, it won’t return. When that happens, the temptation to abandon the entire project can be great. But before you do, there are some things you can try.

I wasn’t terribly inspired when I wrote my latest book, It happened on a Lie. The story was there, but no matter what I tried, I was bored and couldn’t bring myself to finishing it. I didn’t want to abandon the manuscript though. I had a cover I wanted to use for it, and I liked the characters.

My solution was to start fresh with a different writing style. I wrote shorter paragraphs and chapters than I usually do, and took away all but the necessary descriptions and backstory. And all of a sudden I had a new story in my hands. It wasn’t what I had thought to write, but it inspired me. In no time at all, I had the book ready.


So, if you’re stuck, don’t give up. Try something new. There are many approaches to this.

  1. Tell the story from the point of view of a different character. Write a chapter or a scene to see what it would bring to the story. You don’t have to keep it, but then again, it might lead you to restructuring the entire book.
  2. Write scenes out of order. Pick a scene that intrigues you and write that instead. Don’t worry about how it would fit into the rest of the narrative. You can change it later, or you can change the rest of the book to suit that scene. Everything is possible.
  3. Change the narrative from the first person point of view to the third person, or vice versa. Try a chapter to see how it goes.
  4. Change your writing style. If you’re a fan of florid sentences, try a simpler style. If you haven’t used an adverb in your life, try writing more complex sentences.
  5. Change the pace. Shorter chapters will make the story flow faster, and longer chapters will give it time to breathe. The entire story will look new.

There are plenty of other approaches you can try, as long as they’re new to you. They are not merely novelties for their own sake. They’ll force you to consciously think how you do things and look for new approaches. And if you’re like me, you’ll learn a new skill in the process.

If you want to see how my shorter paragraphs and chapters work, you can read almost two chapters for free on Amazon.

Comments

  1. Great post! Thanks for the ideas. Tomorrow I will try writing a scene that's currently told in past-perfect tense as a flashback. I think that may breathe new life into it. --Mary Rowen

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