by Hadi M. Nor
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I have been staring at this blank sheet of digital paper for about 10 minutes now. It is annoying, really, for a writer to see a blank sheet of paper without knowing what to do with it.

Do you want to write a fiction piece but you just couldn’t finish or even start? Like the words of a famous Internet meme, “I know that feel, bro.” because I also love to write fiction but find myself stuck in the middle of the process.

Fret not, for I will share with you about how I deal with writer’s block!

Story’s Premise
There are times when I thought of a really good intro and an impactful ending but no idea on what happens in the middle. One of the stories I came up with is like this:

Intro: Man escapes from prison.

Ending: He got killed by the same detective who captured him in the first place.

Sounds like a pretty good story, isn’t it? But what happens in the middle, I do not know.

This is how I write my stories. Start with a beginning and an ending, then create the build-up. It’s like constructing two towns that are separated by a river before building a bridge.

HOWEVER, a premise is needed for a story to work. What is it all about? For instance, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky is about a man tormented with guilt after committing a murder. That is the premise.

Or Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is about a vampire falling for a werewolf, and this girl came between them. Right?

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Do not forget about your premise. If you find yourself not knowing what to write anymore, go back to the core of your story and continue because that is what keeps your story alive.

Start Writing Again
The most difficult thing in writing a story is actually writing it again after the Block stage. Coming up with stories is easy. Constructing a build-up is not so difficult. Putting your thoughts on paper is the hardest.

What do you do to overcome this? Start writing again.

I know what you’re thinking: “I can’t continue writing so I must... write? Okay, I’m not going to read this anymore.” Then you resume telling your colleagues about how you’re writing a novel right now and it has been 3 years.

Have you ever heard of “tough love”? Writing is just like that, but no one loves you, so it’s just “tough”. You have to force yourself through it. If you have a deadline, then all the more reason to start writing.

Neil Gaiman, the writer of Coraline and the graphic novels Sandman, said “Whatever you write, you have to finish it. Whatever you have to do to finish it, just finish it. Finish it, damn you! Finish it!” Before throwing a hissy fit (this quote is paraphrasing him)

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Neil Gaiman has messy curly hair, so he must be a good writer.

Change of Heart
In the middle of writing a fiction, you will reach a point where you say to yourself “Oh my, this story is stupid.” Trust me, all writers feel that way at some point. Even I am experiencing it while writing this.

Writers will pour pieces of themselves into their work like feelings, experience etc. This is why they are insecure about their work because they are stripped naked when writing (figuratively, not literally, depending on one’s preference) and go through a sensitive phase.

They say that performing on stage is like dying bit by bit. Writing is more or less the same, in this sense.

Never stop writing if you doubt yourself. You can never know how good your story is until you actually finish it.  If you have a change of heart in the middle of writing a story, persevere and ignore these “whispers of the devil”.

Kurt Vonnegut said “If you can do a half-assed job at anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind. Finish it, damn you! Finish it!” (This quote is, again paraphrasing the man).

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Kurt Vonnegut has frizzy curly hair, a moustache, and smokes, so he must be a better writer than Neil Gaiman

I am also currently writing a novel but I’m taking a break from it for now. It has been 4 months.

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