working you into a lather


– 22 March 2015 –

Happy Sunday!

It seems to me that I’ve been going about this all wrong.

What writers need from me is not creative inspiration. If you aren’t already inspired, why are you writing? What writers need – from me and others – is technical inspiration, sandboxes, Etch-A-Sketches, vessels for what you have to say. Because let’s face it, if you don’t have anything substantive to say, something screaming to free itself from your soul and psyche, why the blast are you taking up others’ time, asking them to read (and even more so, to pay you for) what comes out of you? There’s a difference between wiping and cleaning, just as there’s a difference between spouting something novel and adding to the sum of human experience.


Yes, I’ve ranted this before, it was I who needed the wakeup call.

So here’s an exercise. Use it with your own ideas, your own characters, your own axe-to-grind.

No, really.

Start with your character, your relationship, your situation.

Look at the obstacle.

Now, brainstorm ways that the obstacle can be overcome, whether or not you think these actions have to do with this character, relationship, or situation. Go so far as to oppose your character, relationship, situation because likely, what you think up with your smart head isn’t your best creativity.

No, you’re not ready to write, yet. Writing is the gravy, not the meat. First, you do the homework.



Okay, here’s an example and I swear, if you use it as a prompt…


Structure a premise, like, I don’t know, Judy won’t come out of the house and your other character(s) want her to come out of the house. Yes, this is a simple structure, when you’re writing your magnum opus you’ll want opposing objectives but this is an exercise, an étude, a workout. Your other character(s) could pick a bouquet to entice her out (how sweet) – maybe those are her prize peonies and they know they’re not supposed to pick them before the big garden show – maybe they burn down the garage – heck, they could even go into the house and get her.

Sound simple? Have at it.

Happy writing.














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