Have you ever been in a situation where you have a great idea for a story, and your major plot points are down on the paper, but for some reason your ideas won’t translate into words?
All writers go through writer’s block at some point in their lives, but the good thing is that there are ways to combat these strange mental inhibitions in more ways than one. Hopefully this post will help you envision your story more clearly and fuel the fire that will keep pushing you through the incessant negativity and helplessness that comes through writer’s block.
This first way is to track your story-line using song.
Music is often called the universal language, and in many ways it is: no matter the culture or language, music always stays the same. Its ability to evoke emotions and communicate stories is beautiful and universal, and undoubtedly bridges many gaps between cultures.
So why shouldn’t it be able to help you flesh out your story in a more coherent manner?
ONE // WRITE DOWN YOUR MAJOR PLOT POINTS
It’s always best to start writing with a plan, if a loose outline, and that might just be the reason why your thoughts aren’t translating onto paper. In order to track the ups and downs of your storyline, you have to be able to identify the emotions and implications of every major twist and turn in your story. This you can track by writing down all the major events that occur to your main characters.
TWO // VIEW THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR CHARACTER’S EYES
Now that you have what happens down on paper, go through the list of plot points and try to understand them from your main character’s perspective. What is he/she feeling at this point in time? What fuels him/her to do this? What is his/her reaction to the midpoint plot twist?
THREE // SEARCH FOR MUSIC, AND WRITE A LIST OF SONGS THAT CORRESPOND WITH EACH PLOT POINT
It’s easier to demonstrate this than explain, but it’s pretty simple. I’m going to take part of a rough breakdown of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and translate it to song.
Example 1: Mr. Dursley’s reaction to the owls/Dumbledore’s conversation with McGonagall:
- Related Emotions/Words: Confusion, frustration, pomposity, anger, sadness, determination
- Related Song: “Uncomfortable,” by Andy Mineo
Example 2: Harry’s life with the Dursleys/Trip to the zoo:
- Related Emotions/Words: Fear, quiet anger, hesitance, a sense of injustice, a sense of vindictiveness
- Related Song: “Beautiful Now (Scout Remix)” by Zedd feat. Jon Bellion
Example 3: Mysterious letters/The hut/Hagrid
- Related Emotions/words: Anticipation, hope, eagerness, more injustice, frustration, fascination
- Related Song: “Tear in my Heart,” then “The Judge,” both by Twenty One Pilots
You can play with the way you approach this method. My demonstration was a bit more specific, and yours may be more general, depending on your approach to plotting.
Either way, though, fighting writer’s block should induce a whole lot of creativity on your part. Sometimes you just need to sit it out; other times, it’s necessary to take action. Hopefully this method will help you figure out how to express what you want to write, and if it doesn’t, you can use it as a base method and alter it to suit your needs.
Whether you’re experiencing writer’s block right now or you’re on a roll, translating your plot to song is a great way to keep your mind on the story you want to tell and take a step back from the barrage of verbiage that so often comes with being a writer.
Rachel Alison – Column: Creative Writing
Rachel Alison is a sixteen-year-old content creator with a passion for all the arts, although writing is her main skill. When she’s not doing homework or jamming out to hip-hop, she’s blogging at SilverMess.com, making videos for her YouTube channel, or developing her creative philosophy. She hopes to encourage others to pursue creativity as how God meant for people to pursue it, despite the restraints that sin has placed on humanity. To see more of her work, join the creative community at Silver Mess, follow her onInstagram, and subscribe to her YouTube channel!