Writer's Block Or Indecisiveness

Writer’s block can just be a disguised, indecisive mind.

A lot of times, writer's block is a result of lack of clarity, leading to indecision. One does not know the answers to certain questions, or does not have the right questions in the first place. One also gets confused over the categorization or prioritization of the questions.

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Is Your Writer’s Block Really Writer’s Indecision? | Jane Friedman

janefriedman.com

The crucial questions are the roadblocks that keep the work grounded, with no progress made until they are answered.

One needs to identify these in the first place.

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The artificial questions are placeholders until the real question gets unveiled by the mind. These questions, consciously or unconsciously hide the actual question.

Example: “When does this development unravel?” Can later turn into “Can this be turned into a more dramatic one which does not need any unraveling?”

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Many consistency checks, which are found out and rectified during revision is when there are variations in how something or someone has been described, like the color of the eyes or hair.

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Certain decisions are disguised as questions, and are usually some major plot points, or even details that require explanations and further detailing.

Example: Which characters point of view should I use in this scene?

The Masked Questions: some questions are just decisions that are yet to be made. We just haven’t gotten to the deciding part yet.

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Questions pertaining to plot, structure, consistency or procedure need a little brainstorming to be original and interesting.

We can write down whatever ideas we have and can reflect on them while trying to come up with an answer.

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Many questions are not directed at the story but at one’s own writing process, like when to plan, when to brainstorm, and when to write.

This also includes one’s own little experiments in the writing process.

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  • Fiction writing requires research in the historical, geographical or methodical aspects of a scene/narrative.
  • Sometimes certain details are trivial and one can move on while putting a placeholder to fill in later, like the name of a street.
  • Certain research questions come directly into the plotline, like how a certain police investigation is done, and one cannot move forward without getting to answer the question first.

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Certain writers deploy writing techniques that are unique and form the tone of the novel, like first person narrative, for example.

These writing and storytelling techniques need to be decided upfront, though they can be changed later if one wants to rewrite certain parts during revision.

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One can keep all the questions related to your writing progress in one place, for easy reference, dividing them into three types:

  1. High-Priority Questions: No progress can be made if these are not dealt with first.
  2. Medium-Priority Questions: If some details are holding back the story formation in the mind, take care of these questions and move ahead.
  3. Low-Priority Questions: The ones that are minor details and window dressing, and do not affect one’s writing process.

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