“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
– Charles Bukowski, The Last Night of the Earth Poems
My hero was drowning. And all I could do was just stare …
Have you ever felt desperate? I mean REAL desperate. Not desperate to find disposable diapers at midnight when you realized you just used the last one and your baby has diarrhea. And not desperate to find your car keys because your kids are late for school. I mean desperate “to find a way for your hero to escape the iron chains that are sinking him in the middle of the ocean” desperate.
As your character sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and as the air supply in his lungs is beginning to diminish, you grab your head in your hands and pace the floor frantic to save your hero’s life before his air supply runs out.
You try sit ups, running in place for 10 minutes or even driving to the gym to workout to stimulate oxygen to your brain. You come home, hot and sweaty, and do a Google search for ideas to break writer’s block. You even do everything the writing “experts” suggest. Still, the hero’s blowing big bubbles now.
You even try strange and unusual methods to jog your thoughts, like writing standing on your head, writing with your non-dominate hand in cursive with a pencil and you take a long walk in the woods listening to Vivaldi, but nothing works. And you are discouraged.
You are ready to quit and to stop writing for the rest of your life.
But wait! Don’t give up! Please don’t be discouraged, there is a simple solution to break writer’s block and save your hero from drowning. It’s called “The Story Game”.
The Story Game
The game consists of four categories with fourteen suggestions in each category.
Write out numbers from one to fourteen, cut them up into individual pieces and pick out a number from each of the following categories: Location, Character, Name, and Problem to Solve.
Then write a story from the prompts you chose.
You can also add to the list with your own ideas. With the prompts you choose, tell a story. For example, I might choose two, five, three and twelve. So, the story with these prompts might read something like this: On the lake, a dragonfly named Richard bought candy instead of paying his violin teacher.
How The Story Game helps break writer’s block
By playing The Story Game you are stretching your imagination which actually stretches your brain’s creativity muscles.
If you’ve ever watched a track meet, you will notice the runners stretch before a race. They stretch their leg muscles to avoid injuring themselves. In the same way, stretching your brain will help you save your hero from drowning in the middle of the ocean with no breath left.
So, excuse me. I need to rescue my hero from drowning.
How do you break writer’s block when you get stuck in a story?