Twyrch wrote:Don't stop taking notes... even if in the middle of the night and you have a great plot idea or something, just get up and write it down. I always keep a pad of paper near the bed, so I can jot it down before I forget.
Oh yes, this is very good advice. I have about three notebooks so I always have one nearby; I used to keep one by the bed, one in my coat and one beside my PC.
I find that there are two places where I am most likely to have my big ideas; in the bath and on the toilet. Some part of me thinks that it is my subconscious mocking me, but it is more likely that these are the two times that I am most likely to have nothing to do and so my mind is free to wander a little and maybe start to form new ideas.
Once you have the bones of the story, just start writing. If you get stuck on a chapter or theme, skip to something else and connect them later. The point is to keep the creative juices flowing as long as possible, but don't force it either.
The other trick (borrowed from Steven King) is 'blow something up' and this actually seems to work. It doesn't always mean that you must literally create an explosion, but there often comes a time when your story reaches a natural state of equilibrium and needs some kind of unexpected and/or external force to nudge it back out of its rut.
You may only write a paragraph in one day and 15 pages in another and that's ok... don't give up or get discouraged. Just keep at it and it will all fall together.
Oh yes... I have written 400 words in an 8-hour day and seemed to spend more time at the coffee machine than at my desk. It sucks and it is even worse when you have to hide your lack of productivity from your boss. Much as I might say that professional writers are not allowed writer's block, there will be days when you just can't get a break...
Sanity is overrated...