I've planned out a good deal of the plot. I know what I want each character to be, their names, and what will become of them in the end. I've internally reasoned how the lore works.

But I can't progress.
I haven't finished the plot, though I know what I want to try and reach, and I can't even bring myself to "wing it" using what I have already.

If I try to start again, it hurts. Not just an emotional "tough to go on," but an actual physical pain in my joints and head that I thought were from disease, but I'm certain it's writers block. They appear to be psychological pains, as I despise the experience of feeling them but they do not sting like a physical injury, and I'm worried that it will stop my writing permanently.

How do I stop the pain and just get working?

1 Answer 1


Here's a link on how to do it. Mainly, just write on anything, not just your project.

Write around your characters. Start doing exercises where you just write a scene about the character that you don't intend to be in the book. This will get you out of the world-building, plot-sculpting head-space and into scene and character-building. It will take the pressure off, because it doesn't have to be perfect, or at all related to your plot, it's just an exercise.

Write a different way. If you tend to type, use a pen and paper. If you use a pen and paper generally, start typing. Or, use a voice to text program and just start talking it through--worry about editing later. This isn't about editing. This about getting things on the page. Those things can be complete dross. At this stage, it's not about quality, it's about quantity, later you can worry about all making it quality.

My other answer is: drunk writing. It may be crap when you're finished, but it will loosen you up and give you a start. Be careful not to turn into Hemmingway. He was an alcoholic, but, he said "Write drunk, edit sober." With a couple of shots in you, the crippling anxiety which is manifesting in physical pain, might fade. Instead, you won't actually care, you'll just write. If you are lucky, that will open the flood gates, and once you get past it you won't need a crutch like that. (If you are underage, then of course I don't advocate underage drinking).

  • Voted up for the Write around your characters comment. I myself (most days anyway) enter a flash fiction competition on another website and will try to use my characters in them. None of this is going to make it into a book but it gives the opportunity to put them into different scenarios. It also gives me the opportunity to expand my characters in ways I wouldn't have otherwise thought of.
    – Stephen
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 13:59
  • About "drunk writing": Ballmer Peak, at xkcd.com Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 9:03

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