Monday, August 22, 2011

Stuck? Need an idea?

Have you ever been stuck in the middle of your writing or needed an idea (that just wouldn't come) to move the story?

Recently when I was writing, I came across a scene I couldn’t get past or through. I knew something pivotal needed to happen in it, but I wasn’t sure what exactly that drama would be.

My answer to most of the writing bogs I get into is: sleep on it. If there’s a problem, and I can identify what that problem is, often if I put the writing down and come back to it the next day, the solution will have presented itself in the meantime, after a good night’s sleep.

Where do ideas come from? I once knew a woman who said she had people living inside her brain and, if she needed an answer, the people would find it in her filing cabinets… but sometimes finding the answer took some time for the workers in her brain.

While I don’t know of any people living inside my brain and accessing filing cabinets, I do know if I’m looking for a particular word, it comes to me if I give it time and think on it for a day or two: just like my story-solving solution.

Of course, other strategies might also prove helpful, like trying to write the scene from a different point of view (even if you’re going to have to go back and write it again from your original pov). Or, you could skip ahead and come back to the troublesome scene. Sometimes, if a scene is stagnating, adding another character to the mix can liven it up.

For me, I like my zzz’s.

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