Writing a story is exciting, it’s fun and it’s full of exploration. But it’s also hard, and it’s not uncommon for writers to reach a point where they feel disconnected from their story. Perhaps it’s a particularly bad case of writer’s block, or you’ve simply wound up in a slump. Whatever it is,, it sucks. And it’s something I’ve been feeling a lot recently. And such, I wanted to share 6 things we writers can do when we are feeling disconnected from our story.
Get to know your characters
Your characters are the heart and soul of your story. They are what drive it, they make the decisions. And it can be hard, especially when working on a new project, to get to know these new people in your life. Especially if you’ve spent a long time with the characters in your last project. So take some time away from the plot tofully flesh out your cast. Supporting characters and all. The more you know them, the more they’ll take the lead, and bring you into their fold of their story.
Visit your novel’s location (or somewhere similar)
Visiting the kind of places your story takes place is a perfect way to connect you to it. Walk the streets of your characters, listen, smell and feel the surroundings to make sense of them all. If your story has a fictional setting visit something similar; a village, a forest, the beach….if your story is set in the past, go to a museum. The future? Somewhere high-tech and exciting. And even if you can’t physically go to these places you can look at pictures or watch films and documentaries. You can even browse google maps! Never underestimate the power of visiting you novel’s location.
When you feel disconnected it can be really hard to stay motivated and driven. But you must! Remember why you started to write the story in the first place. Look back at how far you’ve come already. Seek advise from the online writing community, or read inspirational quotes. Whatever it is that gets you ready to go – do it!
Take a break
Yep, it’s true. You are allowed to take a break. In fact, it can often be the thing you need to fix your writer’s block. Most of us have more in our lives than writing, be it school, work, family, friends, housework, cooking, other hobbies…and it’s okay to rest. It’s okay to stop for a while. Clearing your head could be exactly what you need.
Read a book
If you’re struggling to connect with your own story, try and get lost in someone else’s. And as you do, take some time to consider what it is that draws you in. Think about the techniques used, and what it is you love about that particular book. It can set your right on track for connecting with your own work again.
Finish your work in progress
When you feel disconnected form your story it can be tempting to move onto something new. But finishing your work has a number of benefits, and is the best way to learn more about writing and telling stories. That’s not to say you can’t spend some time working on something else. Writing is writing at the end of the day! But when you’re ready, go back and finish what you started – it’ll feel so rewarding!
What do you do when you feel disconnected from your story? I’d love to know, so drop your thoughts in the comments below.