Friday, September 28, 2012

Slapping the Muse...

This is the response I made to a blog question "How do you deal with writer's block".

I thought you might enjoy.

1. Go to the library with a notepad or laptop and pick up a couple of magazines at random. Just look for articles that raise your 'say what?' balloon a little and take a few notes about the articles. Doesn't matter if the notes are relevant to your story, it's 'stuff' that focuses your mind on something interesting for a few minutes.

2. Pick up the Bible or Koran or Torah or Declaration of Independence or 'The Five Rings'; SOMETHING that is known to you. Flip some pages to an area you are not familiar with and REALLY read a 'section' until you understand it. Again, doesn't matter what it is just get your mind to focus on something outside your story.

3. Walk. From memory go over your story problem area. Talk like the characters, including voice inflections, accents, etc. Be the characters for a few minutes. You'll be surprised how 'they' will suddenly start talking back.

4. Relax. It happens. You are not a preprogrammed machine. You're a semi-solid mass of cells that sometimes needs a break.

5. This works best for me sometimes: intentionally take your story someplace 'stupid' for a couple of pages. The stupider the better. Make 'em jump through insane hoops and circumstances; face ridiculous foes and obstacles; be abducted by 'Narcisitic Ninja Ninnies from Neptune' (wait that's pretty good, I claim that one for a book I'm writing ;-). Point is go someplace dumb to shake up your thoughts. Try it once, I think you'll like it.

Be cool, mates!