(Techniques listed in order of how frequently I use them personally.)

  • Use placeholder notes to represent anything from single words to multiple chapters.
  • Write something else.
  • Do calisthenics.
  • Take a walk. (David Baldacci)
  • Take a shower. (David Baldacci)
  • Go for a run. (Joyce Carol Oats, Susan Denard)
  • Work on your story‚Äôs metadata or story bible.
  • Back up to the last point you are sure your story holds together, and consider new alternatives.
  • Interview, in writing, one of your characters.
  • Interview, in writing, the story itself, from a medical perspective, a history of present illness. (George Saunders)
  • Explain your concerns about the story while sitting in one chair; then switch to another and suggest solutions.