After all the hoo-ha about publishing, it’s a good idea to get back to writing, don’t you think? I hear many would-be writers say they have some great ideas but don’t know where to start when it comes to committing those ideas to the written page. So here’s my opinion on that with a sample process and some random examples:
- Make a statement on a blank piece of paper that encapsulates you idea.
- On a new sheet of paper write a locale for the idea. If it has grandma’s fried chicken, iced tea, and maybe watermelon, you might want to place it in the Southeast U.S. Or maybe set the idea in Montana, with thoughts of the good ol’ Southeast. If boots come to mind, and maybe a steak, you can’t go wrong placing it in the rural Southwest U.S.
- Who is gathered around grandma’s dining table, or in her kitchen? Name them. What are they doing, besides putting on the feedbag? Who are they talking to? Is that pair of boots hurting the wearer’s feet? Does he/she want to take them off? Are the persons involved speaking their minds? Or do they harbor thoughts they don’t wish to speak aloud? Why?
- Now look back to that first sheet of paper. Are the locale and characters expanding on your great idea? There’s a better than even chance that they are. If they aren’t, what idea seems to emerge from the locale and characters you’ve written about? Is that idea more enthralling than your original idea? If so, start fleshing out that story. If not, adapt the idea on the other piece of paper to fit your locale and characters.
Most of the time this sort of exercise will get the writerly juices flowing. You see, I don’t have much patience with writer’s block. I hate to put it in these terms, but writer’s block is more often than not a case of timidity or laziness on the part of the writer. It’s your excuse for not writing. Sorry, but there’re just too many ways to jump start a story or novel to trifle with writer’s block
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