#WritingAdviceWednesday – Making It Personal

writers_block ETB ScreenwritingI was talking to a friend in London on phone today about storytelling and how to liberate one’s self and others to tell their own stories.  How do you unblock yourself?

A quick writing exercise is the best way I’ve found to quit obsessing and start writing.  Here are some examples.

Set a timer for fifteen minutes and choose one of the following:

1.  Write about something or someone you left behind.  Then do the same for your character.  Who or what has your character left behind?  Why?

2.  Write about an unexpected moment of kindness.  Then do the same for your character.  What small bit of consideration or compassion suddenly upended your character’s expectations?

3.  Write about something you have in excess.  Then do the same for your character.  What does your character have too much of?  What happens as a result?

4.  Write about the exact moment you knew you loved someone.  Then do the same for your character.  What was the specific moment, time, place, observation or activity that said “this is the one”?  What did the character do as a result?

6.  Write about a hole in your life.  Then do the same for your character.  What is missing in your character?  What feels like a big empty space in your character’s life or self?

These small explorations sometimes are just enough to break open a new area in yourself or in your character.  I think of them as priming the creative pump.   When you are blocked or stymied the best thing to do is write something– write anything.  The simple act of writing will get your creative juices flowing again.

My eBook The One Hour Screenwriter provides lots more exercises and ideas to keep you writing until your screenplay is done.

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