Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Twist Review and Guest Post with William D. Hicks

Good Morning everyone. I have a guest here today to talk about Overcoming Writer's Block. Please welcome William D. Hicks!

If you’ve written long enough you’ve experienced writer’s block, so you know how frustrating it is to sit in front of that computer with a blank screen staring back. Hopefully, one of these ten tips will help you start writing again.

  1. Write now. Though writing through the block doesn’t seem rational, sometimes it works. Keep writing. I know it’s coming out wrong. So wrong you want to shred the paper, even though it’s on a computer screen. But don’t. Wait, keep writing. It’s an old writing technique. If you can’t think up anything to write, try doing a mind-dump. Just write everything in your mind, a stream of conscious dump, and see what comes out. Try this for a half hour. Is the block gone? If not, keep doing it. Eventually, you will have written something. While this something might look like what the cat coughed up it might also give you some great ideas for a story.
  2. Be creative. Instead of writing, try painting, or drawing or playing music. Don’t worry about writing for now. You can write tomorrow.
  3. Do the Opposites. Try an old actor’s trick and focus on not doing something. This often becomes the thing you want/need to do. Try telling yourself, “I don’t want to write.” Say that ten times out loud. Then do something else for a half hour. See how much you want to write afterwards. Try writing.
  4. Exercise. This will pump blood into your brain and distract you from worrying. Plus it’s good for you. Once done, try writing.
  5. Do a writing exercise. There are specific exercises available to spur different types of writing, e.g. poetry and fiction. Either buy a book or look online for exercises. It’s amazing the stories that have started as writing exercises.
  6. Listen to music. Really listen to the words. How are they stitched together? Why? What do they mean? Try writing a song.
  7. Go to a movie. Often this triggers an “I could have written that line better” thought. Write some thoughts down about the movie. Maybe even start a story from those thoughts.
  8. Read a book. This often triggers the same response the as #7. I sometimes read a sentence and think, “Why did the author write it that way? I would have done it this way.” Again, that line might spur you onto writing a great story.
  9. Review old unfinished manuscripts. You have them. We all do. Try to rewrite one. Editing might also spur you onto writing. Even if doesn’t, you’ll feel like you’re writing which should stop you from beating yourself up.
  10. Ask writer friends how they’ve beaten writer’s block. If they have no answers, tweet/blog for suggestions. Most everyone has a trick that has worked for them. Try something that sounds appealing to you. If that doesn’t work, try something different.

In the end remember the famous Monty Python line, “And now for something completely different.” Cut yourself from slack and do something that doesn’t resemble writing. Go grocery shopping. Deposit your coins at the bank. Get your hair done. Take a leisurely bath. Don’t get hung up on the fact that you’re not writing. Everyone needs a vacation from time to time, even from what they love most.

William D. Hicks

Killer Flies and Twist

Find the author on Twitter

As a boy growing up in 1953, Kevin Hull enjoyed playing games with his group of boyhood friends, like the game of "ledge." After one such game with his friend Billy Hawkins, the two find themselves involved in a terrible accident that will forever change their lives.

A work of short psychological horror from our Spectres line.


As a group of friends find out, playing chicken can have dire consequences. This group starts of playing "Ledge" near a building, as some of them excel and others aren't so great, they know one will have to do the dare their leaders tells them or be thrown out of the group for good.

Billy, being the one who lost knows all too well just how far their fearless leader will go is scared out of his mind to do the dare. Kevin bravely steps up to the plate, knowing that this will have a dare that will make any of them respect him, even their leader.

The scares friend, Billy, after learning of the dare, knows this is NOT a smart move and tried desperately to get his friend to back out. However Kevin reassures him all will be fine and their leader, really wouldn't push the dare to far and endanger their lives.

Things go horrifically wrong and the dare end up costing one boy his life. In the aftermath the one who survives has significantly changed. He switches from being scared to being a brave and adventure seeking, switches from being a right handed to being left-handed and he find that he likes foods he once thought were disgusting. In the end he finds out Fate had a huge part in his chances and has to face that his past has lead him to this point. What "that point" is, you have to read to find out. I'll warn you, it made me cry.

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