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Bubble, Bubble, No More Trouble—

With Writer's Block

I'm going to tell you about a little brainstorming exercise to help get rid of writer's block. You can use this idea-builder any time you get stuck, whether it's to get the next word, next sentence, next chapter, or next twenty years worth of books, makes no difference to me. The thought process amounts to the same thing.

Even though you could obviously use this exercise for original fiction just as easily, I personally would rather have fun as I describe it, and as some of my friends know very well, I have a special place in my heart for writing Harry Potter fan fiction. I don't often stray far from the use of a certain Muggleborn as the female romantic partner, so I'm going to use Hermione Granger as an example in this exercise, which I like to call: "How to Decide What to Write in the First Place 101."

You're sitting at the table (at the desk, on the floor, hanging upside down with your desktop strapped around your neck, precariously perched on your nose while you're juggling some bananas and singing "Heard It Through the Grapevine"—whatever) and you're thinking, gee, I really would love to write a story in which Miss Know-It-All gets her muffin buttered but good!

Now, me personally, I have a preference for a particular setting in which she and Ron don't end up getting together because at the last minute he doesn't feel comfortable with the whole idea of sex with his childhood friend and/or they realize they're incompatible or whatever, but that's just me. So anyway, that would be one of the possibility bubbles I put on my page that would mean poor, unmarried Hermione would have new options to explore.

Then of course the bubble with Ron could go on there, too, though I never put it on mine! Next comes the fun part: putting bubbles on for all the other possible outcomes. This is the point where you need to determine what time and place you're starting from. I am going to just go with "the war is over, Hermione finished school and then went to work for the ministry" for an example, though of course you could put a different bubble somewhere in which the war did not end and Voldemort takes her hostage/prisoner/for his wife or whatever floats your boat, which I sometimes also like to do, but you get the point.

Keep bubbling your page up with as many and as varied an amount of possibilities as you want—I don't even care if you go so far as to suddenly decide that Yoda's death triggered a chain reaction which caused a tidal wave on Krypton that made Earth roll over ten times and do a samba, thereby altering the reality of space and time such that Hermione suddenly found herself in the arms of none other than Salazar Slytherin himself, as long as you can make me believe that load of crap by working it up in good, solid writing that shows rather than tells and makes me feel what they are feeling, see what they are seeing, etc. Hell, I'll read it. I might even write it, come to think of it!

Have we all gotten on the same page yet? Did you all realize what this exercise is for? Free your mind and let it play. Get those bubbles on the page, then choose one or two and make them work. That's the ultimate goal, whether your story is fan fiction or original, it works just the same.

And for those of you actually hoping to sell something, sometimes coming up with a story may seem tough. You're sitting there with nothing on the page and all you can think up is stuff that won't sell. This is a great way to get all that out of your head. Once you put it on that paper, your mind has been cleared up so you can hit on something that is more useful as a result.

Writing fiction is hit and miss. Making it work is a lot like playing tennis and getting smacked upside the head with the ball ten times before your racket finally connects. It's a dirty job, but hey, somebody's got to do it—and the way I see it, it may as well be ME—BWAAA HAAAA HAAAA HAAAA!

All mention of copyrighted material within this article belongs to the respective owners, and have been mentioned out of reverent respect, not intended misuse. Thank you authors for your creativity so mine was able to play so well—AMEN!

 


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rjw books
Robin's Amazon Page

Robin Joy Wirth
robin@redshadow67.com
948 S. Ainsworth Ave, #C
Tacoma, WA, 98405

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worldbuilding workbook

Use this low-content book to create characters, settings, internal or external factors that might affect the outcome of your fiction.
Fill the 200 8.5x11in pages with details, or even just doodle in there if you want...
This is your creativity catch-all. Gather up all your story ideas and put them in here. $6.95 plus shipping in the US amazon store.


worldbuilding workbook companion

Written as a companion guide for the Worldbuilding Workbook, you can grab this as an ebook, or better yet purchase the paperbacks together for a more hands-on experience. This companion book is meant to be a sort of instruction manual on how you use your workbook, but also contains suggestions on how to use a three ring binder and create a workbook of your own instead.