Writer’s Block—“When my imaginary characters stop speaking to me.”
That’s what is on a shirt my daughter gave me for my birthday one year. I thought what a neat way to understand what discourages so many authors. And I find it as an incentive to break through that block.
First of all, I realize I may be forcing my characters to say the things I want them to say. And maybe what I’m seeing is rebellion on their part.
Case in point. A short time ago I had an encounter with a four year old who was in a class for which I was a substitute aide. He was screaming and I told him to quiet down.
“NO!” he yelled.
I gave him my “eagle eye” look.
“Shut up!” he yelled again.
I responded with “Maybe we should go see Miss R.”
Again the loud “Shut up!” and “No!”
His teacher took his hand and ushered him out of the room.
Now parallel that incident with a character in my story. I write, “You can’t pin that murder on me.” It’s stiff. It’s flat. It’s cliché.
I reread the scene and come up with, “If you knew me as I really am, you’d know I couldn’t strangle that woman with my stiff arthritic fingers.”
Maybe I need to expand that statement, but now my suspect has given me a reason for breaking through the block. Are his hands really arthritic? Or does he have another way of strangling this woman? What are my new possibilities of continuing my story now?