This week at the YA Indie Carnival we’re talking about solutions for what every author dreads…writer’s block.
We all experience it from time to time. I’m sure, for the most part, I handle it like many others with freewriting and brainstorming. However, I have to admit that I do have a secret weapon when it comes to writer’s block. It’s called “The Make Up Story Game”.
Allow me to explain. I live on a 1,000 plus acre farm along the Ohio River, the inspiration for the Hayes farm in my books. Part of my daily life is a 30 minute commute to the nearest town. The drive is very boring; the road is poker straight with little traffic and the same speed limit the entire way. My kids, Justin (10) and Reece (7), early on created games to make the drive more bearable. One of Justin’s contributions was The Make Up Story Game.
It’s a round robin where each person adds to a story. Justin will start with a line like, “Once upon a time there was a magic cow.” Then Reece adds another line or two; then it’s my turn. We keep taking turns until we come to the end of the story. Justin and Reece are complete opposites, not only in what they like, but also in how they think and approach problems. This helps to create some very neat twists and turns in a very unpredictable story.
So, back to our writer’s block problem. When I am hopelessly blocked, the boys will allow me to start my scene in The Make Up Story Game. Now, keep in mind, they’re 10 and 7 and pretty mischievous. I never actually use their ideas as they typically involve dragons that burp lightning or mogdocs that play XBox. Their ideas raised to a whole new level of craziness after they accompanied me on a book research mission to the Great Serpent Mound last fall (pictured). However, what does happen is that they approach the scene in a whole different way. They get me thinking about it differently too. It gets me out of the box that I set myself in. Life is nice outside the box.
Take a look at how these other YA Indie Authors step out of the box and overcome their writer’s block: