22 May 2019

Writer's Block Exercise - Week 20

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 bet reading the title of this exercise put the theme song, The Raider's March, in your head. I know it did for me! The first movie came out when I was a young, impressionable girl and for years after, I wanted to be Indy. I already loved history, so why not be an archeologist? I even had a whip.

As I got older, writing became my passion. But it's not just Indy I go and refer to when I'm thinking out story plots. Depending on what genre I'm writing, I'll think about characters in either a TV show, a movie, or even other books. One series I loved was Xena, so what would Xena have done with this duplicitous asshole I've written?

Or the Charmed one?

Or Jessica Fletcher?

You can substitute Indy for any genre, but the message is the same. If you're stuck, try putting yourself in the character's shoes...what would you do? It's easy to write your hero or heroine into a corner, but much harder to write them out of it. The easy path is to rewrite and not even face that corner, but you can't flinch as a writer. Stretch the imagination, even if you have to turn to Indiana Jones to figure out how to get free.

#20 What would Indy Do?

The best heroes surprise us by taking actions we never saw coming.

>Who are your hero’s Henry, Sallah and Marion? Brainstorm three relationships from
your hero’s past, and how they could impact your story.

> Remember the poisoned dates. List four things in your hero’s world that might be poisoned (literally or metaphorically). How might your hero discover it?

> Find your Satipo. Is there an ally who can betray your hero?

>Everyone has a snake. What is your hero’s greatest phobia?

Some heroes surprise us by taking bold actions. They bring guns to sword fights. They chase tanks on horseback. They cut the rope bridge.

Imagine the stakes are life-or-death. How would your hero get that memo from a locked office if the building were collapsing? What would the condo co-op meeting be life if it were happening on a falling blimp?

Don’t let expectation box your hero in. Give him a whip, and let him start cracking.

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 

No comments:

Post a Comment