Useful Technique for Writer’s Block

There are tons of techniques for writer’s block, and the best strategy begins with an analysis of what is causing the block. However, I just used a technique (I’ve used it before to good effect) that worked like a charm.

I had made an alteration to my novel that involved a chain of changes, and I got about 3/4 of the way through and lost my mental thread: what is the point of this change? If I hadn’t made it, the story would be just as good, and the character who had been very active could easily be dropped and not affect the plot. Hmm. I didn’t want to go back and undo all that work, partly because it would be a huge job, but also because the character provided a good alternate perspective that illuminated my theme.

So, I looked at the issue and decided: these are the actions the character could take; some would give the thread a climax but be choices that character would not make; others would be things the character would do, and result in a failure to be in any way significant. So, at 8 PM last night, I switched to editing a different piece, folded laundry, worked on a jigsaw puzzle and watched an episode of Game of Thrones. And, just as I predicted, at 5:30 AM today, the answer came to me. I found something the character would do, that ties him into the novel climax in a significant way because he is instrumental in providing information critical to the antagonist. Hah!

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