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YA Indie Carnival: Busting Blocks

justin and reece

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:

1. Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Heather Self 4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
7. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 8. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
9. Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series 10. Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
11. Dani Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews 12. Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
13. M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 14. Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind
15. Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls 16. Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler
17. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 18. TG Ayer
19. Melissa Pearl, Author of The Time Spirit Trilogy 20. Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga
21. Roots in Myth, PJ Hoover 22. Courtney Cole Writes

2 Responses to YA Indie Carnival: Busting Blocks

  1. What a great post. I LOVE the game you play with your boys. How cool is that 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Connie says:

    I love how you incorporate your children into dealing with writer’s block!

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