Monday 15 July 2019

How to banish Writer’s Block with #HistoricalFiction author, Cryssa Bazos # amwriting #tips #Fiction @CryssaBazos

Banishing Writer’s Block
By Cryssa Bazos

A blank page is a fearsome beast. When that condition persists for any length of time, when no amount of glowering at the computer screen will conjure up a decent sentence, the writer must face it for what it is . . .  dreaded writer’s block.

It’s especially frustrating when you’ve carved out precious time to write and all you have to show for it is being entirely caught up with everyone’s feed on social media. Rather than gnashing your teeth and sharing memes, here are some tips to conquer writer’s block. 


Whether you’re a historical fiction writer or not, there is no better time to go down a few rabbit holes.

If your story is set in the past, trawl the internet with a purpose. This particularly works if you’re struggling to write the next sequence of scenes and you don’t know which way you should go with them. British History Online is one of my favourite rabbit holes. There are wills, letters, declarations and endless Parliamentary records all transcribed on the site and not all of them require a subscription. I’ve run across tasty scenarios that have spurred my creative juices and got me past the dreaded saggy middle. Truth, after all, is grist for the fiction mill. 

Give yourself permission to write poorly

Writers are often their harshest critics. Have you found yourself typing a sentence only to obliterate it with the backspace tab because it’s drivel? Stop doing that. Time enough to edit later. The first draft is for you to get the story down, barebones and all. Go ahead, write drivel. Don’t worry about about not knowing the right historical word for something yet. Call it “X” if it helps you move on. You can and will go back to it later. By virtue of getting something down and ploughing through it, cringeworthy prose and all, your Muse will eventually sit up and take notice of your efforts. The Muse will realize that you mean business and if they don’t come to your rescue, there will be no living with you. Then the real words will start to flow. Keep writing.

Change POV

I’m not talking about head hopping. If the story is being told by more than one character and you’re struggling with a scene, it’s entirely possible that you might not have the right character on centre stage. Switch actors and try again. Another character may have a greater stake in the scene than the one you thought you brought with you. If you are working in a first person POV and you can’t switch characters, try rethinking the setting. Does it have to be in an inn or can it be moved out to a country lane or a forest? Bring along the antagonist or a love interest. Nothing livens the party up like having someone work actively against your main character or who is desperately trying to impress them.

Quite often when you change something—anything, the creative floodgates will swing right open.

Give yourself permission to walk away

No, not to procrastinate on social media. Therein lies only more frustration. Instead, go for a walk, clean the house, or read a book. If possible, visit a museum or an art gallery—perfect to stir ideas for what you are writing about. Engaging with other creative pursuits (i.e. art, music) can free your mind and help you to come up with an unexpected solution to your blank page. 

Call a (writerly) friend

Go for a coffee and pitch your story problem. Bounce ideas off them. Brainstorm crazy scenerios. Pay attention to how they react to these ideas. Do any solutions resonate with them? Do they sit up and take notice? A fresh mind may be able to help you pinpoint what and where the stumbling block is. Even if you don’t come up with the right solution on your coffee break, talking shop will more than likely revitalize and inspire you. At the very least, you’ll have a healthy outlet to deal with your frustration with someone who knows your pain.

And then you can move on. Tomorrow is always another writing day.

Cryssa Bazos 

Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and 17th-century enthusiast with a particular interest in the English Civil War. Her debut novel, Traitor's Knot is the Medalist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award (historical fiction), a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards (historical romance) and the RNA Joan Hessayon Award. Her second novel, Severed Knot, was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2018 New Novel Award.

Connect with Cryssa: WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletter Sign-Up.

Severed Knot

By Cryssa Bazos

Barbados 1652.

In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth.When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm, she is sold into indentured servitude. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of depravation and heartbreak. Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity.

Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousands of miles from home, he endures forced indentured labour in the unforgiving cane fields. As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her.

With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives.

Together they fight to survive; together they are determined to escape. 

Pick up your copy of
Severed Knot

The Coffee Pot Book Club

Highly Recommended
Read the full review HERE!

1 comment:

  1. All great tips, Cryssa. I'm planning to turn more attention to music and art, two practices I've ignored since committing to the writers life. Thanks for the prompt!


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx