8

Although I'm not that convinced with this idea but I'd like to take your advise. Can it be a good idea to skip a chapter when having writer's block?

4
  • A bi more info would be nice, like what writing style do you follow. For example do you have a main thread or are you writing as you go?
    – A.bakker
    Sep 24 '20 at 16:29
  • I'm writing a short story from the perspective of a child about his life journey. I have the idea in itself but when I reached chapter 6, I didn't know what to write, I need to write more details about an event because it's gonna be very short if I jump to the other event Sep 24 '20 at 16:41
  • 1
    Change "Is it a good idea" to "Can it be a good idea" and the answer is definitely "Yes". It all depends on so many factors you aren't sharing, and may not be aware of yourself, yet.
    – jwpfox
    Sep 25 '20 at 23:37
  • 1
    If this is an approach that you, while doing other writing, have not tried before, try it now! This may be just what you need. (It's a very good sign that you are aware of this possibility -- don't be afraid to explore it!)
    – Rrr
    Nov 3 '20 at 16:54
16

Skipping a scene, section or chapter that I'm struggling with is one I've used in the past and had some success with - it's better to be writing something than sat there not getting anywhere and getting frustrated. Sketch down some brief notes about what the "missing" section is intended to contain and move on.

Sometimes if you write the section that follows the one you are struggling with it can actually help you write that connecting section as you now have a hole to fit it in to - "what is missing between these two chapters?" is a subtly different question to "what does my next chapter say?" and that difference can be enough of a re-framing of the problem to let you proceed.

I can't guarantee that it will work for you - everyone is going to have their own preferred methods for dealing with writer's block so it's a matter of finding a technique that works for you.

6

That's not a question that can be answered in the abstract.

Sometimes it's so exactly the right thing to do that you look back and realize that your writer's block was your boredom with a superfluous passage, and you never do write it.

Sometimes writer's block turns out to be reluctance to tackle a passage requiring technical skills that you haven't got yet, but the passage is necessary, and in that case, skipping will achieve nothing.

Sometimes you just need to let something jell a little more. I do this by skipping to another work and circling back. Skipping ahead might also work, but I'm too afraid that vital things in that scene might affect the future scenes too much.

An additional important point with letting it jell -- you may realize that something you had thought will not work. You may need to seriously change elements of the scene to get through it. That may invalidate what you write if you skip ahead.

1

Skipping chapters in your books when writing is a good idea if you think it's a good idea... No one else knows your writer mentality... It's usually pretty easy to start out on a book and try to write it chapter by chapter until the end... But when I had writers block writing my short stories... I found that looking at how I wanted my story to playout in the ending, paved my way to write on from where I left off and fill in the gaps in-between...

0

The best way is to plan your book before writing and not try to pants it because, like many amateurs claim, "Stephen King writes that way".

The Stephen King method does not work for everyone.
For most people, failing to plan is planning to fail.

You really must know the scenes from start to finish and ensure that they fall like dominoes when you check the sequence of them, and also look for holes, detours, or other problems.

2
  • I'm not sure this really answers the question. Also, do you have any evidence to support the claim that planning is the best method for most people? Sep 26 '20 at 7:46
  • I'm really not sure it's helpful or accurate to say that one of the two most common methods of writing is just worse for the majority of people. A bit of evidence could go a long way with this answer. Or, failing that, perhaps a restructuring to say that the writer in question should explore both methods? Sep 29 '20 at 16:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.