Whatever you're writing about, picture it in your mind - the opening, the feelings, your opinions, your questions, your preferences.
This is not only good for you but also great for your readers... Because, if You can see and feel the action, you will be able to tell a more compelling story or give a great review that will help them see and feel the action as well. And, they'll love your writing because of it.
This doesn't take a lot of work but, it DOES take continuous practice.
Visualize it. Live it. Feel it. Tell it.
You can do this. And, it especially works well when writing novels or reviews - or, producing a video or movie.
See the scene. (You don't have to write out a full sentence or a bunch of detailed information. Get the gist of what you want down. List words that describe the scene so that you don't lose them.)
View it in slow motion.
Hear the conversation. See the reactions. Feel your emotions (or, your character's emotions).
Visualize the physical and emotional responses given by your characters or the people involved.
If you're writing a rant, relax and try to remember the order things took place in the situation. What happened that pissed you off and HOW did it all begin? Replay it in your mind and see it. And, if you're adding a little comedy to the writing, try to view the situation from various angles.
If you do this and you're still grinding your teeth trying to get your story or review onto paper, then at least four things could be wrong...
1. memory not sharp enough to see or remember the sequence of events, interactions, and responses (Even if it's fiction you must be able to tell it like you're there or WERE there.)
2. need to improve vocabulary and/or communication skills to explain the story better and to replay it to yourself
3. you have little or no emotions about the situation and can't feel it enough to really care about talking about it or writing about it
4. you haven't taken any notes or organized what you want to talk about
You have to "correct" all of these things if you want to improve your writing and visionary skills for producing a first class project that people will be interested in.
If you can't see it in your head, chances are you may never see it on paper (or, "digital paper").
This video guide by Jurgen Wolff, who has been a professional writer for 25 years, is about "how to write a review if you're critiquing an article". It is also a good video to learn from if you're writing an argument or debating someone's opinions or ideas.
For some writers, writer's block can occur when you have too many ideas about how to write your masterpiece swirling around inside of your head. And, for a lot of writers, the crap of everyday life can be so distracting that every time you sit down to write, your mind is a total blank - or focused on everything else besides writing.
You're siting there - trying to focus and think about what you want to say and how you want to say it - and the next thing you know, you're staring into oblivion. Frozen with you eyes opened as big as saucers looking like a psychopath.
It's like the clutter of life and the clutter of ideas are not only making you feel lost and scatter-brained, but also making you look like you're a damn lunatic.
You can't accomplish much or be productive as you could be when your mind is worrying over chores, errands, and deadlines.
Even when the writing task is simple and you have an idea of what you want to say, this stuff - all these distractions - can ruin your motivation for writing.
Here's what you need to do:
First, use the simple formulas for writing in whatever genre it is that you're writing in.
If you enjoy writing reviews, go back to the basics.
If you writing a novel, go back to the basics.
Don't try to rethink or re-invent what already works. Why make your work harder than it should be?
Use mind maps, outlines, timelines if you're not sure what to say - just
make sure that the events and situations are in the order they're supposed to be in, connected, and relevant.
Stop over-researching and start writing. A good friend of mine was working on a novel about a Cyborg who was on the run from her creators and after she starting researching robotic technology, she couldn't stop researching more about the technology. Now, she has writer's block and don't know what to do with all of that information she's collected.
Research is a good thing but sometimes you need to ask yourself:
"What does my reader really need to know?" or "What information doesn't matter?"
You don't have to go into so much detail all the time. You may end up creating a long boring technical book or article that no one will want to read.
Also... Give yourself a day to NOT think about writing - if you get ideas, so be it. But, plan to relax. On the seventh day, take a rest. Take some time out to de-stress your life - and, your brain.
Stop trying to be fancy and just write the events out in order as they should happen. You can always rewrite later. If you've got some momentum going, don't slow down with thoughts about how to say this or that, keep writing until you run out of steam. Edit later.
Get rid of clutter and distractions that turn you off. If you're surrounded by a mess and it's making you sick to your stomach, get rid of it. I know it can be overwhelming and you may not feel like cleaning and moving stuff around, so just do a section at a time. Stop hanging on to some of that garbage and throw it out or give it away. If you can't part with it, organize it.
Some people accumulate all kinds of stuff in order to be inspired or motivated and end up with a lot of crap on their hands. Some of that stuff they get for research and have never used it since they bought it ten or twenty years ago.
Get rid of that junk. If you can't do it all at once, try a little at a time. But, the only thing that stuff is doing is weighing you down and holding you back. It's a distraction to your writing you don't need.
When creating a schedule, it's not enough to just "write in blocks"
or "set some time aside to write". Organize and plan your writing
schedule. Know what you want to write about or research each day. And,
you don't have to do research every day. One day you may want to work on
your characters. One day, you may want to list the various events in
one of your chapters. Another day, you might want to work on revising
some of the language - or, organize your photos for illustrations.
Have certain days and certain hours that you do certain things towards the development of your project. And, if you have the energy and drive to do extra, that's a bonus.
Keep every day (and every task) as simple as possible.
Immerse yourself in writing so that it becomes natural and doesn't require so much thought. Read books similar to your genre and let the ideas come to You. Hang out with other writers, artists, and producers - People who are creative, driven, and love what they do.
Watch movies or TV shows about a similar time or theme and learn the language so that you will be able to present your material clearly and naturally. This is leaning towards research, but again: Don't over-think or over-analyze the material. And, by all means, if you start to get hooked on those shows and you're doing more "watching" than writing, then turn the TV off.
I know I'm getting long-winded, but the last thing I want to mention is: Don't try to be perfect.
I know you want to create something most people will enjoy, but the key to getting in the game is getting off the starting line. People will never get the chance to enjoy your work or know how talented you are if you never get in the game and show them what you can do. So, don't try to be perfect right off the bat. Create, revise, then tell the story the way it ought to be told.
All of this worrying about what to do next or write next and having doubts about your writing only adds to drama and confusion in your life AND in your life as a writer.
Good character names are important but don't stress yourself out or rack your brains trying to come up with character names. Keep it simple.
Many writers have their own formulas for coming up with names for fictional characters, but if you don't have your own system for creating character names for your novel or short story, maybe these tips might help spark some ideas...
1. Use a baby name book. Many of these books also tell you what the name means so you can choose a name relative to your characters' personality and/or traits.
2. Check your junk mail or spam for names. Make a list and copy and save the names you think you might like for fictional characters in your story. You can also interchange the first and last names.
3. For science fiction characters, use the names (or part of the names) of mythical gods, societies, groups, etc. You could also take one syllable words and put them together to make multi-syllable names with them.
4. Use acronyms. Just add vowels and consonants or remove vowels or consonants to create names.
5. Look in books of wisdom to find powerful names and common names that people can relate to.
6. Use parts of foreign names and words for character names.
7. Depending on the time period you're writing about, you may want to search for similar names by looking at names from a similar time.
8. Biographies can also help with names - old old names and new names.
9. Don't think that every name has to be original. Your character may have gotten his or her name from a celebrity like Cher, or Rick James, or Betty Davis, or Bill Gates, or Donald King.
10. You can also get venue names or the names of certain places and neighborhoods from objects or plants. Or, you could use certain street names for that purpose.
Whatever you do keep it simple. Focus on writing your masterpiece.
And, remember: If you don't like the name, you can always change it later.
The problem with most writers (or most wannabee writers like myself) is that we believe our writing isn't good enough (or interesting enough) to warrant being read. So, we continuously read, research, study various styles, make notes, dream, and brainstorm for ideas, in hopes to improve and create the perfect novel, how-to book, article, or blog. Years may pass by and some of us still won't even have more than a chapter or two finished.
Some of us are looking for a simple (or secret) "formula" that will give us the talent to create masterpieces with ease. But, that's not going to happen overnight. The best way to get to such a level (if it's possible) is to just write and write and write.
Look... If you want to be a writer - or, if you just want to express some ideas and opinions that you have swirling around in your head - stop trying to be "perfect" and just be You. Just say what you have to say. Just write. Keep it simple and stop trying to be "over-creative". You can always edit or "remix" later - before you try to publish or sell your work.
I know... Sometimes, it's not that we're trying to be perfect. Sometimes, motivation is the issue. Sometimes, we feel we have the time to make notes but not the time to write. Sometimes, we don't think we're smart enough, funny enough, or witty enough, and those things might prolong the creation of our "project". And, of course, "writer's block" or not knowing how to start is almost always an issue.
I'll say it again: Stop thinking about it and just do it. Write what you feel. Write what you believe. Write about the issue. Write what you visualize. Write your complaint or rant. Let your writing take over and stop wondering about how to start or what to say. Say what you want to say the way you'd normally say it. You can edit for clarity later if you need to or WANT to.
Yes, it's imperative that you plan and organize your ideas and draw up outlines and/or mind maps and all of that stuff. But, don't get hooked on reviewing and reviewing and thinking about the project and constantly making notes. If you do, you'll never get anything done and the only thing you'll get good at is researching and making notes. And, that's not what you want.