20 February 2019

Wednesday's Writers Bypass 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.

I utilize this card a lot. I find writing the everyday routine for my characters boring as hell, but a necessary evil to get to the next interesting point in the story. So to help offset my own hair pulling, I will skip ahead and write all the cool, juicy, adventurous stuff first. If I find inspiration for the fill-in-gaps, I’ll go back and write. Many times, however, when I’m editing through what I wrote, the little details come to me and makes the writing flow better.

Another plus point to this card is that you may stumble onto a plot twist or an idea you hadn’t had, and this gives you a chance to rewrite scenes to support your new vision.

#7 Move Ahead Three Spaces

What would happen if you skipped over the next few scenes/days/years?

>Look for ways to combine scenes and locations. If your hero needs to have an
argument and then go hiking, can the argument happen on the hike?

> List three events the reader might anticipate will happen in your story, such as Regionals, prom, or the wedding. Could you skip ahead to one of them?

> Think about transitions: Is there a natural way to make it clear that time has passed (e.g., Christmas trees, sunrise, graduation)?

Jumping forward give you a chance to re-center your characters in the story, and show the effects of their actions. Like a curtain between acts, it lets you change styles and settings and seasons.

Readers can often fill in what they missed, particularly when the overall patters are clear. We don’t need to see every week at Hogwarts, because we know how schools work.

If skipping scenes makes little impact on your story, that’s a clear sign you need to get rid of them.


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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