In which I eventually get to my new favorite technique for getting unstuck while writing, I promise. But first, a word on zombies and poultry.
My husband* would take issue with my last post. He says you can't have a checklist of what makes a great novel without one of the following:
- nanotechnology (preferably a swarm of tiny robots gone bad)
He would probably also grudgingly accept the following:
- shape shifters
- a biological villain, such as a supervirus**
In fact, whenever I write something new, my husband inquires which of the above it contains. He is always disappointed. He would like the social conflicts in my classroom oriented picture books to be more often resolved through clone wars.***
Now, Tinkerbell loves my books. But, she REALLY loves the stories her dad tells her in the bathtub, which revolve around the exciting adventures of Space Chicken, Intergalactic Milk Delivery Poultry, whose efforts to bring fresh cold milk to all of our universe's children (alien and otherwise) are constantly thwarted by circumstance and occasionally goofy bad guys.
The fact is, the Space Chicken stories are fun. Fun to make up, fun to hear.
Which bring us to my new favorite technique for getting unstuck. You know those times when you have something to write, or to revise, and just isn't coming? It just looms over you, dreaded and humongous? Your house is spotless, your bills are paid, and you've created hand-made paper scrapbooks for your pets -- anything to avoid putting pen to paper? Here is your assignment:
Choose one item from the lists above and use it. I am not joking. I don't care if you're writing an 18th century romance; have the lovers attacked by zombies. Make the mama bunny toss the baby bunny out the window.
I am willing to bet three things:
- It will be much easier to write the scene (or whatever) than however you're trying it
- It will be much more fun to write as well
- Even though you can't use the scene like this, you'll find something, some little tidbit, that you can use. And hopefully having that little bit will make the whole thing start to come together.
* My husband is actually quite well-read and enjoys many books without any robots. Just not as much, I think.
** Preferably one that speeds through the air and is neurologically devastating so that our hero can be a pediatric neurologist with a penchant for research and several letters in track...
*** Also, he would also like me to refer to him in future posts as "The Mighty Thor."