Writer’s Block: What Kind of Writer are You?

Great article Sarah, good that you are now in a productive period.

S J Menary


So, I know a bit about writer’s block. More than a bit. After struggling with it for almost 5 years, you might say I am somewhat of a self-taught expert. I’ve tried every trick in the book: the elevator technique (where you put your characters in an elevator and ask them random questions), the perspective technique (where you re-examine your text from an alternative perspective or viewpoint), the distance technique (where you put your text down for a week and return with supposedly fresh eyes). I’ve read every article, every book, tried all the exercises – even meditated on the damn thing!

You see, I have been writing and tinkering with my first novel, on and off for almost 17 years now (I KNOW!!). And I have always felt that it wasn’t finished. Like the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, I was the proverbial artist that couldn’t leave. It. Alone.


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12. What I’ve learnt

The short story of vengeful Felicity is now complete and what a piece of work she turned out to be. In the previous blogs I tried a variety of techniques gleaned from creative writing books. Now I can conclude how useful, or not, they were to me over the course of writing the story.


Theory says everything should be related to proving the premise, else it shouldn’t be there. Well, I found the premise ‘Murderous revenge leads to peace of mind’. The first part was derived easily from the inciting incident where Felicity goes way over the top in Continue reading “12. What I’ve learnt”

11. Finishing the story, and the truly awful typewriter

The story of murderously vengeful Felicity is finished. The next blog will report what methods worked, what was a waste of time, and what has been learnt about short story writing.

Meanwhile, a good part of the story was produced on the typewriter below. I looked up reviews about it and thought it had got a lot of stick. Unjustifiably so.


Continue reading “11. Finishing the story, and the truly awful typewriter”

10. Say it with feeling

I was most of the way through the first draft, and aaaaaarrgh! What I had written was  stilted, mechanical and just damn uninteresting – plus it had taken me ages. Instead of going down the pub and crying into a pint or three, I chucked it away and before starting again; looked for what was wrong.

A book by Nancy Kress says we must learn to be multiple things i.e. characterwriter, and reader. It says the first step is to forget about being a writer and become the character. Think, FEEL, see and smell as they do. Next, become a writer but a non-critical one who just acts as the conduit to get the character’s perceptions, speech, and actions down on paper. Continue reading “10. Say it with feeling”

9. I need treatment

Last post I said I approach a treatment as a way of outlining the story. Well below is it. The six steps are covered and I think a solid story has resulted. However, the treatment is almost as long as the finished story; so I’ve overdone it a bit and probably got into the territory of the first draft. However, I read that if it is for personal usage only and not for attracting business then there are no rules. Continue reading “9. I need treatment”

7. Someone changed the story


I’ve been bullied into changing the story by a character. It is the first time a character seemed to be insisting I wrote their story, and I can’t ignore it. It started with a small picture cut from a magazine of a slightly overweight girl in her early twenties. Her eyes looked sad, they seemed to implore don’t pick on me, I’ve been hurt so often. I asked what if she was a murderess? Continue reading “7. Someone changed the story”