Three ways to beat writer’s block

I am writing a book and I have come to the first major crisis point about a quarter of the way in. Something important has happened and I know where I want my main character to end up but how do I get her there?

It doesn’t help that I have just finished the first season of the Killing and not only was there an engaging and fascinating storyline but there were also three other strands, at least, which were working beautifully alongside the main plot.

So my next task is to find ideas for my main storyline and for the parallel strands.


Advice columns – Good for gentle ideas. The stories available can be stranger than fiction because in real life things don’t need to make sense and you won’t always find out what happens but it’s still useful. They are also a great way to find out what people consider important and it can be something quite trivial.

– the colour of a bridesmaid’s dress
– snooping on a partner’s emails

Post secret – this is a site where people send postcards anonymously. The format provokes short and dramatic revelations
– deciding to leave on Christmas day

Law cases – you can find out the details of what happened and also how some of these end because of the availability of judgements. A great place for inspiration, especially if you are writing a mystery or a thriller – see

An example:

the attack on the home of Mr Murnin. His bungalow was attacked at about 11.30pm on the night of 4 June 2000 when an anti-personnel device consisting of a Russian-made hand grenade was thrown towards the house, causing an explosion which blew in the window of the room where Mr Murnin was sitting watching TV. Also in the house at the time were his four children and his 13 year old nephew, Mark Murphy, who was staying the night.

Those are some ideas for getting yourself out of writer’s block. I hope they provide some inspiration for you too.

Do you have any tips for similar situations?


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