I was recently a ROW 80 sponsor. This is a re-blog of the post I did for Row 80, in case some of you didn’t bop over there. Enjoy!
So, how are we all doing? Having trouble getting started? Ugh! I hate that too.
Personally, I don’t believe in writer’s block. What you need is just a little inspiration. Where do you find inspiration? Well, anywhere.
A good solid writer can make a story out of anything. You just need to take that first step forward.
But how do you take that step?
Did you see a billboard or magazine advertisement this morning? Take the person in that picture and write about them. Are you stuck in the middle of your novel and don’t know where to go? Read on, my friend, read on…
Here is my method of getting started. It has never failed me. You need to start with a character or a setting. Who or where does not matter. Just start.
If it is a character, have them take a step. If it is a scene, just show your reader where they are. I am going to grab a name out of the air, and see what happens. Okay? John is the name. Here we go:
“John shivered as the cool breeze slapped at his cheeks. The walk ahead was long and hard, but he needed to make this journey. More than anything else, he needed to find Geraldine.”
Now, I had no pre-conceived idea in my head when I started. I just grabbed the name “John” out of the air, and added a setting element. Within a few seconds, he was looking for someone named Geraldine… and that was completely unplanned.
Now, I just need to let the story “happen”. The seeds have been planted. John has to walk in the cold. Where is he going? Dunno, but I know it leads to Geraldine. Isn’t that exciting?
The way I’ve use this method in the middle of a novel, is I take a character, have him sit outside a door, and actually write his thoughts as he figures out what he needs to do. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen… you don’t know what’s going to happen either. Just work it out together.
Now, you might not actually be able to use that 2-3 paragraphs that you write in that character’s POV, but just writing and “getting into their head” will start the creative juices flowing.
The important thing is to get words on the page. Once they start flowing, you might be surprised how hard they are to stop.
Unfortunately, now I’m DYING to know more about John and Geraldine. Ugh. Another story begging to be written.
- My Writing is driving me Crazy! (thewritersadvice.com)
- Where do Characters Come From? (kristinastanley.net)