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What is Writer's Block?

"Writer's block" is a misnomer. Before I started writing fiction, I just accepted that it was real, since everyone talks about it. Now that I've written several books, I've learned what's really happening. It's NOT "writer's block."

When you begin a novel, you have a rough idea of who many of the characters are going to be, and you've easily got 15,000 words that you can write just developing their personalities, and "setting the scene" for your story.

THEN you get "blocked." What's the story, really? What happens, and who does what to whom? What order do those things happen in? There are many many questions that you need to chew on to figure out what the flow of the story is going to be, and what happens in that flow.

You're now "blocked." It's too many questions, and you don't know what to write. With TIME, your mind will work many of those things out.

Only then can you write. Fine. Now you can write the bulk of your story. You can establish all of the connections that you've figured out, and you can tell your story. But how does it end?

You're "blocked" again. This block happens about 15,000 words from the end. You have to figure out how to resolve all of the loose ends. That's tough to do!

What we call "writer's block(s)" are actually two essential turning points in your book; each about 15,000 words from each end of it. It's not that your writing is blocked. It's that you now have to reasonably evolve from the introduction into the body of the book, and from the body of the book into the conclusion.

Those two evolutionary points take thought. It feels like you're "blocked." You're not. Just sleep on it.

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