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Writer's Block

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Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:12 am
katerinawilson says...

Okay, I need help with my story. It's about a girl in an inventor's lab. She just explained the process of her learning the basics, but I don't know how to get her out of there! Another worker in her grade is going to walk with her on her way back to school (and flirt with her) but I need help getting her out of that inventor's lab. I dont want to say "then she was dismissed and left the room". I want something with more depth/description. Help me please!

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Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:31 pm
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Aley says...

There are a few different schools of thought in this situation.

Spoiler! :
Most of the time this is most useful when you're trying to change through a long period of time and there is nothing interesting going on in the middle. For the most part the theory is: we black out during our days all the time. We don't remember driving to work, for example, or half the class. This is what you can emulate by just transferring over without much detail at all, just have her start work, and then the bell ringing after she's drifted off into a tangent of some sort, or, you could literally just skip like the movies do.

And that's the other side of it, movies do this all the time so it's pretty common already for us to jump from one spot to the next, however, because it's a movie, they can see the setting change very clearly. With writing it is a bit harder to do.

Do you actually need the beginning section?
Spoiler! :
This is another point which pertains more to short stories than books. Do you actually need to include what it is you're writing first, if it's not where you want to be for any plot development?

A few ways you can tell if it is necessary to include in the story are:
Does it actually advance the plot?
Does it add anything about your character/setting which needs to be covered?
Can it be avoided or summed up elsewhere?
Is your reader going to care about the information given to them?
Does the information provide the reader with a clue towards something else that is going to happen within the story?
Are you going to use the information multiple times or just once? [Books like Harry Potter are notorious for 'one trick ponies' or information that shows up because it's necessary and then, sometimes, completely forgotten.]

If going through these, it doesn't seem like something worth while to have in the story, you can do a time skip, where you just start writing in the next section, and then consult it later to see if you want to take it out.

Spoiler! :
This one is pretty common when you want to get through math class, but don't know enough math to fill it out. Basically you insert a lot of character thought, or have them staring at someone else, etc. However, this is a lot of thinking instead of doing [telling, instead of showing], so you really have to be careful with this one.

The best way to do it is to have them day dream by describing things like what so in so is wearing, or how x and y are looking at each other, oh, and z totally is on her phone the whole time we're supposed to be learning. Things like that. This gives you a chance to show the class interact with one another, introduce some new characters, new names, and develop a bit more of the plot without skipping, or focusing on the lecture.

Just Do It
Spoiler! :
This is sort of like the person who would spend the time to go through every detail of clothing that ever existed on this character's body this morning before they decided what to wear.

It's very tedious in our day and age, and very slow for our short attention span, but readers are perfectly capable of just skipping all of the details until they reach the point they want to read again. This is probably the most realistic way to spend her day, writing out everything, but it is going to make the book super long, and rather boring for people who already know the lab. The best way to avoid boring is to just write interesting things that happened in her day instead of even bothering with lectures or other routine commitments.

So here are just a few options for how you could deal with it. My favorite is the first, just bluntly skip without any detail or many transitions, just put a blank paragraph, start a new chapter, maybe put


or something to indicate if you want, and then move on.

You might like a mix of daydreaming and skipping the best considering you want some detail though.

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Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:13 pm
BenFranks says...

A walk can help. Sometimes just in silence. It forces you to think.

Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.
— Roy T. Bennett