This article doesn’t fool around. It doesn’t settle for giving us a couple of tips, oh, no, no, nooo! Here are thirty – count ’em – thirty ways for all of us to get off our butts, leave our self-pity behind, and $#@! write!
by Amanda Patterson
- Handwrite the scene you are working through. Do this for at least one day.
- Go to a public place and watch people. Describe what they do and say. Try to find a way to use their body language, and the sights, noises, and odours around you in your own story.
- Change the setting in your story. You may want to change it back later, but for the purpose of the exercise, move the characters into another location.
- Introduce a new character who watches your main characters. Describe the scene you are writing from that new character’s viewpoint. This should give you a different perspective on the problem.
- Use your daily writing prompt to start a scene in your story.
- Change the timeline. Make the scene you are busy with an epilogue or a prologue or the beginning or ending of the story.
- Ask your character if his or her bucket list has changed since you began writing the story. If it has, rewrite it. If it has not, perhaps it should.
- Write from another character’s perspective. If you have been telling the story through the protagonist’s viewpoint, write a scene through the eyes of the antagonist’s sidekick.
- Make your character behave out of character. If your heroine is brave, make her back away. What happens when she does this?
- Ask your character to list the five things he or she is grateful for right now. If you do not know, you may need to spend more time with your character.
- Change tenses. If you’re writing in present tense, switch to past tense and vice versa. Do this for an entire scene. You may find that it gives you ideas for what to leave in and what to exclude.
- Research something that interests a character in your story – even if you’re not interested in it. List five things you could use in the story as a result of this research.
- Add multimedia to your story. Allow your character to use tweets, emails, and texts to give your story texture.
- What if? How can you make things infinitely worse or better for your protagonist at this moment? Is it something you could use?
- Stay in the moment. Make sure you won’t be disturbed. Get inside your character’s skin and write the scene moment-by-moment, breath by breath….