The Cure For Writer's Block ...

I kind of worked out a possible solution to the problem of writer's block the other day, while working out what to do next with my NaNoWriMo novel. Here's the secret.

Interrupt the action with more action somewhere else.

If you've got three people stood around in a room, and they've just had a chat, and you want to go and do something else ... break the scene.

- There's a huge crash from outside. It turns out to be a massive explosion.

- From upstairs, somebody utters a bloodcurdling scream.

- The door bursts open and somebody rushes in, yelling "The Countess has been kidnapped!"

- As above, but the bad news being borne is "Duke de Rochefort has been murdered!"

- 'Why is it so hot in here? I can't keep my eyes open!:' the bad guys are knocking them out with gas.

- One of the characters says something innocuous, and the hero says "I know who the killer is."

- Cut straight to a scene where a character is being given a pummeling by a man twice his size.

- Cut, for no apparent reason, to the three people standing naked in the middle of a cornfield.

- One of the characters asks "Where's Donald?" Cut to the fourth person being pummeled, etc.

If you think about it, just about any interruption, cut or segue is better than carrying on with a scene way past its bedtime. If the scene feels that it's been going on a bit too long and is dragging, it probably is - and you need to chop it up, perhaps by breaking it up into sections, and inserting parallel sections in between, showing what else is happening in B plot land while the A plot is running.

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