Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beating the Drama of Writer’s Block

To create better drama in your writing, you need to beat the drama of writer’s block.

This may be obvious. But when your curser is sitting on a blank page taunting you with the repetitive blinking and your mind spins and lurches, sifting through everything and settling on nothing, writer’s block can be debilitating.

So, how do you beat it?

I’ll tell you a secret that may make you hate me.

I never get writer’s block.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely get lazy, or distracted, or addicted to tweeting. I have many things that keep me from writing. But I never get blocked.


I shall fill you in on my dirty little secret.

The Games We Play As Children

My brother and I have this game we play. I now play it with my fiancé, who is also a writer. (And no, not THAT kind of game. Get your minds of the gutter!)

How does it work?

1. Pick a subject, any subject.

2. Then pick a genre. (poetry, short story, scene, essay, anything you want!)

3. Now, TIME IT! You and your partner (or partners) decide on a short time (1-3 minutes) and write about what you picked.

4. Finally, share and laugh.

A real life example.

The Subject: A woman in a living room, naked with a gun.

The genre: scene

The results…

My brother Neil wrote a scene about a woman who was using her gun for some special time when… oops! It went off!

I wrote a scene in which a woman was pregnant, trying to give herself an abortion in a very unlikely way. #itdidntwork

Now, say what you will about our mental stability, we rocked those stories and went on to write more. Poems about cigarettes. The alphabet as a story. A Dear Mom letter from camp. (You DO NOT want to know what my bro did with THAT one!)

You get the idea!

Why this works.

These games free up your creative muse. They get you thinking about things in a new and fun way and force you to write from a new perspective.

They also break you out of any block.

These games stood me well when I went to college and had deadlines for papers.

They saved me when I wrote professionally for newspapers. When you are on deadline of a few hours to get a front page news story in, you don’t have time for blocks.

The truth is, we don’t really get blocked at all. We just get trapped in our own minds, over-thinking what should be a creative process.

By playing with our muse, rather than forcing it, we free ourselves to be the creative genius we most desire.

So get out there and play! If you don’t have a partner, play with yourself. #again #mindoutofgutter

Your muse will thank you. And so will your readers.

Kimberly Kinrade is a Young Adult fantasy author whose first book, "Bits of You & Pieces of Me," was not YA, but rather a collection of short stories, poems and essays that tell the tale of a young girl in love with love who discovers the demon of a splintered heart when that love turns violent.

Watch for her YA fantasies, Death by Destiny and The Reluctant Familiar this fall! Find her on Twitter, Facebook, or her website. She also writes a blog for Lifarre, the new women’s network, and is a staff member for the Indie Book Collective


  1. Great post thanks for inspiring me too play!!

  2. You're welcome! Check back here with your successes, ideas etc. We'd love to hear from anyone who finds new ways to beat writer's block through game! ;)

  3. Loved the post, Kimberly! So true that play can really open the valves.

  4. Thanks Wildwords. Love the name, btw. If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right! :)

  5. Fantastic post thanks - and just what I needed to read :O)

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