Scott D. Parker
What is the opposite of writer’s block? And, after you define it, what do you call it?
Writer’s block is when a writer stares at a blank page and doesn’t know what to write. Nothing comes to the mind, nothing comes out on paper, and, in the end, the writer is stuck.
The opposite of writer’s block is when a writer stares at a blank page and sees too many things. Everything comes to mind, everything is a fork in the road of a character, there are too many ideas. As soon as the writer gets an idea, this Opposite of Writer’s Block takes hold. Okay, says the writer, my character robs a bank. How? This one, simple question can create dozens of ideas, any one or two of which are good. Let’s say the writer picks the third one, a really good idea. Then what? This fork in the character’s road is a choice. The writer chooses “left” and writes away, but he never quite gives up on “right” and starts pondering the story if he had chosen “right” instead of “left.”
I think you see the dilemma. In no time, the writer is creating alternate universes for his characters, dozens of choices, multitudes of twists and turns, all the while he isn’t making prose. Or, if he is, he’s not making progress.
Now, some of you would say Just pick something and go with it. That’s sound advice. But what about all those forks in the road?
The opposite of writer’s block. What is it called? Because there are times when I suffer from it. I want to name my ailment so I can start curing it.
NOTE: Tomorrow, Do Some Damage is a year old. I have to say I've really enjoyed meeting new readers and carrying on conversations about writing, mystery fiction, and whatever else. We've all had a blast and I hope you, our Readers, have enjoyed the trip as much as we have. Here's to a great sophomore year!