So, I go through stages. If I am angry, my poor character has to endure police chases or some sociopath hunting him in the forest like prey. I even imagine I hear some suspenseful music playing when the villain inches closer. If I am happy, everything is about love. My head is in the clouds, weightless in a perfectly blissful buzz. My character is now in love. He is in love so passionately that he becomes this selfless, perfect example of a man balanced by smoldering features and a protective yet sensitive heart. He can do no wrong. I see him skipping in a field with a bunch of daisies in his hand while whistling the tune from Little House on the Prairie and joyously blowing bubbles with his gum. Okay, maybe I don’t really imagine it just like that, but you get the picture. Needless to say, my mood lends itself to the uniqueness of each of my characters. I have to move through my emotions to create a real character and if I can’t move through those emotions, I get big time writers’ block. So, how do I deal with writers’ block when it happens?
1.) Watch TV
a. I know this seems weird, but it works. I had to write this intense scene where a crazed mother chases after her son to hurt him (she’s a piece of work). I flipped the television on to watch episodes of Criminal Minds. It put me in the right panic-stricken frame of mind to write the scene. Now, don’t go overboard like I did once. Suddenly when I went into town, anyone wearing a hoodie was a psychopath waiting to attack and don’t get me started on how afraid I became if they were wearing a hoodie with sunglasses. Too much Criminal Minds can put me in a right-fit state.
2.) People Watch
a. I mentioned in an earlier post about a people watching game I play. It is a lot of fun. You need someone to play with you. Your friend points out someone in a crowd. You have to, off the top of your head, come up with who he/she is. Once I pointed to a guy that had a Plexiglas backpack on with a pigeon in it (you see all sorts of things on the BART) to my mom. She said this: He is divorced. His wife left him because of his bird keeping. He keeps his bird on the roof of his apartment in a make-shift aviary. He has lost all sense of who he is because he believes he is a pigeon too. Naturally, he thinks he can talk to them. The most outrageous plot you can think of wins the game. I could play it for hours and it helps me develop my characters.
3.) Force Your Feelings
a. My sister and I have this idiosyncrasy. We laugh and tease eachother about it a lot, but we both do it. We will be happily driving along listening to music from our iPods when a certain classical piece will come on. Oh, the emotion! We feel it! The song plinks and tugs at our heartstrings with such force! No words are needed. It pushes all other emotions down and what bubbles to the surface in surges is pain. We just cry at the melancholy notes, letting them do what they will to our hearts. Now, here’s the kind of sick part; then we listen to it again...and then again. Call it a cathartic release, but we must repeat it over and over again, each time crying to our heart song. We force those feeling up. You can do this with any feeling. Find a song, a scene in a movie, or other thing that you know will pull at your heartstrings in some way. Then, feel it and rush off to the computer to pound out your latest creative brilliance.
4.) Do Something You Hate
a. Yup. You heard right. Do something you can’t stand and do it for a long enough period of time that your need and craving to write overpowers your writers’ block. I am currently taking a math class. It SUCKS! I hate it so much and at the end of every day I feel so drained. You would think I would feel so tired that I couldn’t write, but you know what happened? My writer’s brain is on overdrive because I am not using it as much as I want to. The ideas are hitting me one after another in rapid succession. I am writing down ideas in a document to come back to once I am finished with the god-forsaken math class.
5.) Walk Away