20 March 2019

Wednesday's Writers Block Exercise

Got Writer’s Block?

Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Life gets in the way and your brain is taken in another direction and before you know it, it’s been days or weeks since you last looked at that book you’re trying to write.  You’ve forgotten little details.  What eye color did you give your hero?  What town was your heroine born in?  Perhaps you need to jumpstart your creative mojo, and that's what this series is designed for. Not to explain writer's block, but to help you move in a different direction.

Recently I wrote an apocalyptic story that focused on biological warfare. Not the type to produce zombies, instead killing certain blood types. I targeted the blood type O, which would kill over 85% of the world's population. So to explore this world was interesting because I didn't know where my main character, Jo, would take me.

Every scenario and character must have flaws to be believable. Omnipotent power (eg: robots or gods) is boring as hell. Even magic must have limits. In one of my stories I had one rule for magic: "Only for the living and only in the now". Meaning, you couldn't bring the dead back to life, or time travel somewhere.

#11 Puny Humans

Sometimes, it really is the end of the world. How would your story change if the stakes were cataclysmic?

>A comet will smash into the Earth in 24 hours. What would your hero do?

> Imagine your story in a post apocalyptic world. What would change? What might stay the same?

> What if your hero was the invader? Consider the story if he was the conqueror rather than the conquered.

Looking at how your hero might respond to a major cataclysm- asteroid, plague, tsunami, robot uprising- can offer insights into her actions at a more human-level jeopardy. So start blowing things up. Knock down some national monuments. Smash, crash and see what you get.

What's import to your hero? Who would she save? Where would she go? And once there, would she lead the resistance, or keep her head down?

How would a cataclysm change your hero’s interaction with the antagonist? Would they still be on opposing sides?

Happy Writing!

***John August designed these cards to help writers fix plot holes, spice up stock characters and rethink your themes.  They, of course, do not guarantee you’ll get published or that you’ll become the next J.K. Rowling, and of course they are only a tool to help you think outside the box. I make no monetary gain with them nor do I expect anything in return.  I do not own the contents in these cards. If you're interested in them, here's the amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Emergency-Pack/dp/B00R6ZLIOY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046610&sr=8-2&keywords=john+august 

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