Tips for Getting Past Writer’s Block

Got writer’s block? Here are the most helpful tools I’ve found to overcome being stuck.

Take a Walk

I’ve found that taking a walk and talking or thinking about various solutions is a great way to untangle problems.

Stop Procrastinating

Try to eliminate distractions. And set times when you do nothing but write. Ultimately, it is force of will and love of the story that will pull you through. Without determination and courage, time will roll by and you will have accomplished nothing. It takes hard work to write a book.

Make a List

Identify what it is you are trying to say. What information do you need to convey? What happens next? Where do the characters need to go and what do they need to do? Once you have your list, arrange the items into chronological order. This leads to the following suggestion.

Outline the Plot

Whether you are writing a nonfiction article or a story, first sketching out the general structure will give you a template to follow.

In my own case, I tried to write several books before I wrote Eragon. They flatlined after five or six pages because I didn’t know where the story was going. It wasn’t until I learned how to plot a story that I was able to create the outline for the Inheritance Cycle. Story, by Robert McKee, helped me with this. Though Story is intended for screenwriters, I found McKee’s principles and advice invaluable for structuring a novel. If you outline your story before you begin writing, you can put your energy into writing it the best way possible and not worry about what is going to happen next.


Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini is the author of the international bestsellers Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance, as well as The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm. Murtagh is now available and marks the highly anticipated return to the World of Eragon. His debut science fiction novel, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, came out in September 2020 and its prequel, Fractal Noise, was released in May 2023. He resides in Paradise Valley, Montana, USA.

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