When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.
Riffing off of what Colleen posted yesterday www.naplwrimo.org/node/643 I thought this quote was appropriate.
What DO you do when you get stuck? There's loads of things you can do and this is what I do.
- let it simmer and do something else. Somtimes just stopping writing and doing something else (I find crocheting to be particularly therapeutic) will do you a world of good. Often, especially when I am working on editing, I can FEEL it's time to let it simmer. And I do. Of course, that might not work that well in a time crunch like ours, but you know, it's an option. It's apparently the option I've decided to exercise as I have not started yet and I am considering writing two plays instead of one, perhaps, just to see which one sticks.
- Barrel through. Sometimes you have to force it and this can be harder than anything. Sometimes you get a character who won't open up and you have to interrogate them until they do. Barrelling through can give you LOADS of crappy writing, but in the end, you barrel through and can take the red pen to it later.
- Have something crazy happen. There's the gun thing (above). Once, when I had a character who needed to enter a scene but I wanted him to barge in but it would be hard to barge into a back yard with a very tall privacy fence which was locked and a whole house between the person and the yard. I thought, how can he get in? The next thing I know, he was climbing the fence to get in. And he climbed all the way over, snarkily demanding help along the way. And it stuck. It showed how ridiculous this person is and how (badly) spontaneous he is. Plus, that scene was more fun to write and hear read out loud.
Figure out what the opposite of what the character wants to have happen, do it, and take it to the ultimate extreme. If your character wants to get the girl, have him not only NOT get the girl, but have him be accused of attacking her and killing her boyfriend. Now he not only doesn't have the girl, but he's probably going to lose his freedom as well.
What have you guys tried? What has worked? It's just funny because regardless of what you have tired in the past, this is all new, but do whatever it is you have to do in order to make the page count happen. And don't forget to tell us how it's going!
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