Can I Draw You a Picture Instead?: When Writing is Difficult

This isn’t writer’s block, you know how you want the story to go. You know how the scene should play out, how the characters will react, even down to the way the heroine’s hair will fall over her shoulder, and how the hero’s eyes will be narrowed. But…

No matter how you write it, it just doesn’t flow right. The words simply won’t reconcile with the image in your head. There is some miscommunication between the internal movie and your vocabulary. It feels too wordy, or too chopped, or too something. It isn’t right. Aaaarrgh.

During these moments, I really wish I was an illustrator, or a comic artist instead. I can see how it should be, how that very expression on their face will look and what would take a paragraph to explain! I should just draw it! Out come some pencils and a piece of blank printer paper, and a hour or so later, I remember. I am a writer, not an artist. There is a reason for this.

For those moments you face when you just can’t word it right, recall that simplicity is best. If you can’t word it right now, state what you mean and move on. You can always go back to it. This is frustrating advice, especially if it is a crucial scene, or one that you’ve been mentally working on for a while. Of course, you could always decide to switch art forms, and hey, maybe you’ll discover you have a talent for drawing. I hear some people out there do…

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