27 March 2019

Wednesday's Writer's 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.

You can never give too much stuff for your hero to overcome, as long as you can let your hero figure it all out. And try not to be predictable about it. I once read a book by Charlaine Harris titled Grave Sight.  I loved how the main character Harper (who can communicate with the dead) has to not only figure out a murder, but find a missing teenage girl among a long list of complex lies. I figured out the who-dun-it because it came down to ordinary blood-tests. I still enjoyed the story, but I usually being surprised at the big reveal.

Luckily, the four follow up books knocked my socks off. The series still remains a favorite of mine.

I try very hard to think outside the box. One of my books, Lawless Hearts, had originally been written with a superficial ending, mainly because I was too new of a writer to trust my inner voice. Years later, I was able to take back the rights and I completely changed the ending. I closed my ideas off to finish the story, and that's when the story suffered. I'm glad I was able to correct this.

#12 Stack of Needles

Too much can be worse than too little. Overwhelm your hero with more than she/he can handle.

>List three thing the hero needs or wants. For each, what might be the consequence of
getting too much?

> An actual stack of needles is no match for a strong magnet. What are ways your hero could handle could handle a sudden deluge?

>Consider jealous. How would your hero react if other characters suddenly had their wishes fulfilled?

Whatever your hero needs, give him way too much of it. Give the detective six thousand clues. Give the sad sack forty dates.

How heroes handle success can be as illuminating as how they handle failure. Are they gracious? Vindictive? Can they make the transition from rebel to king?

Irony shines a spotlight on the struggle of life. You may be dying of thirst, but with a few bad decisions, you can drown in the desert.

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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