01 May 2019

Writer's Block Exercise Week 17

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.

When someone asks me how to string along the plot to make a story, or how do I keep my focus on writing a book, I always tell them that it’s like building a house. First you need to frame it before you go back in and add the plumbing and walls. The most import aspect of writing a book is to get the first draft down. Just write, even if it’s generic ideas rattling around in your head, just put them down. Then go back and begin the process of adding to it. 

Details are important, but sometimes they came to you later, as you go back and edit. Many times I’ve even used my own experiences to spice up the mundane day-to-day routine of my characters. Don’t be afraid to put some of your own life down on the page.

What this exercise does is asks you to look at one of those moments you may not like, or where you're stuck, and change how you look at it. Maybe put yourself in your character's shoes. How would you act? Or what would you say? 

#17 Magnify

Up close, everything looks different. Zoom in to focus on a moment, a detail or an emotion.

>What is your hero feeling right now? What are some tiny actions that might reveal it?

> Extend the moment. What if a given event took a day rather than a minute? What if it took a year?

> Imagine your hero is incredibly nearsighted. How would your story change if she could only see things an inch from her nose?

When you look closely at a moment or idea, you discover truths and textures that might otherwise go unnoticed. (Chickens are basically velociraptors. Velcro is nothing but desperate, grabbing hands.)

Your hero may be holding the metaphorical magnifying glass – or perhaps he’s the one being examined, each little action perceived differently than intended. Either way, lenses distort what we see.

A powerful lens can even focus light so intensely it burns.

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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