The Brick Wall

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Here’s a little trick I use when I’m writing. In fact, I JUST used it on a script earlier this morning so I decided to blog about it knowing some of you might find it useful.

When I’m working on an outline or a script, I sometimes hit a tough spot where I just can’t work through it. It might be a vital chunk of dialogue that needs to have real impact, or a story turn that isn’t working the way I need it to. No matter how long I work at it, I just can’t break through. Most times I don’t need the trick, I just keep working until I get it solved. I step right into puddles and smash my way through the rocks. Perseverance pays off and I can usually find my way. But the big ones. The brick walls. Those are different.

Rather than beat your head against that brick wall, make a note right there in your story in BOLD ALL-CAPS to revisit the problem another day. Then move forward to the next scene. Don’t look back.

A funny thing happens when you jump over those problems and work deeper into your story. You actually create context, and more importantly, a bit of hindsight. When you build out your world a little more and figure out where you’re headed, that problem area becomes much easier to work out. Often, what you thought was an impossible problem is now completely obvious with this new context.

Give it a try next time you hit that brick wall.