brainstorming breakthroughs

BrainstormingDo you ever feel like you have to learn the same writing lessons over and over again?

I gave my characters a little excitement to try and push the pace, which ended with them up on a roof. I had it suck in my head that they'd go back to their home base next and speak with a co-conspirator, but I've been avoiding that transition. I've spent the past couple of days reworking clunky dialogue, filling in descriptions, and world-building -- basically doing everything other than getting my people off that damn roof.

This morning I had another one of those moments where I remembered that if I was having a lot of trouble with a particular scene then maybe I should try to turn things in another direction. I finally realized that I was just resisting what I thought had to happen next.

I spend a lot of time brainstorming in my notebook about things like background details and potential motivations. Somehow I keep forgetting to go to it first thing when my story gets stalled. This morning, I worked out a list of other things they could do right after being on that rooftop. I wrote down everything that came to mind, even if it was silly or impractical or didn't exactly fit the characters.

It led to some fun options, both for the immediate issue and future scenes. I haven't settled on one just yet, but I've got a few clear frontrunners, things that are more unexpected than my previous track. My very favorite option, "jump off the roof," sadly won't work for the current situation, but I'm so holding on to that one for later...

photo by pepe50 used under Creative Commons

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