Introducing a Man with a Gun
He didn’t mean that literally a man with a gun had to turn up. What he meant was – make something happen, stir things up a bit. As a writer there are lots of things that can be done to stave off the dreaded block.
Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with as ways to shift focus.
Injure someone: a trip, slip or burn can set in motion a chain of events which may be used to add characterisation or conflict. eg, “you could have told me that was there / slippy/ hot”
A minor character such as a neighbour or postman can deliver something which will move events on. Ideas include divorce papers, severed finger or a ransom note.
A telephone call, email, text or social media discovery can also be used to progress events.
Cut to a different thread and come back to the scene after a while. You may have had an epiphany while working on the other thread or written something which can be used in the area you are stuck on.
Move the characters to a different location. It doesn’t have to be far, another room would do but by moving them you are moving the story and offering up new things to be used for conflict. eg “ For fuck’s sake. Will you switch off that TV / food blender / lawnmower when I’m trying to talk to you.” Result = instant conflict.
Introduce a man with a gun. Why not? It’ll certainly give you something to write about. Obviously “gun” can be substituted by any other weapon you want to have the man use.
Naturally you can’t keep bringing a man into the room or moving locations, but you can mix and match a bit to get yourself out of any dead ends. Dead ends are of course also good for mystery writers as they raise tension.
I’m incredibly fortunate in that I haven’t ever really had to deal with writers block. With me it’s more a case of trying not to forget all the ideas I keep having for things to put into my novel.
Please leave comments on ways that you cure this dreaded disease.
Morgen: Being a crime writer (predominantly), a man with a gun sounds good to me. Thank you, Graham!
Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. For the last eleven years he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.
An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well respected review site Crimesquad.com for over three years.
He has three collections of short stories available as Kindle downloads and has featured in anthologies such as True Brit Grit and Action: Pulse Pounding Tales as well as appearing on several popular ezines.
You can find Graham via…
- Twitter – @GrahamSmith1972
- Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/Grahamsmithauthor
- Blog – http://grahamsmithwriter.blogspot.com
- Amazon Author Pages – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Graham-Smith/e/B006FTIBBU and http://www.amazon.com/Graham-Smith/e/B006FTIBBU
- Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/grahamsmith
- Gutshots: Ten Blows to the Abdomen – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gutshots-Ten-Blows-Abdomen-ebook/dp/B0089YIOJS and http://www.amazon.com/Gutshots-Ten-Blows-Abdomen-ebook/dp/B0089YIOJS
- Harry Charters Chronicles – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harry-Charters-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007712QB6 and http://www.amazon.com/Harry-Charters-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007712QB6
- Eleven The Hardest Way – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eleven-The-Hardest-Way-ebook/dp/B00771BMJ8 and http://www.amazon.com/Eleven-The-Hardest-Way-ebook/dp/B00771BMJ8
- Off the Record 2: At the Movies – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Off-Record-Movies-Charity-Anthology/dp/1291093672
- True Brit Grit – http://www.amazon.co.uk/True-Brit-Grit-Anthology-ebook/dp/B007Y0FBNU
- Action: Pulse Pounding Tales – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Action-Pulse-Pounding-Tales-ebook/dp/B008082QP6
- Flashy Shorts – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flashy-Shorts-ebook/dp/B008QQM4IQ
Graham is also running ‘Crime and Publishment’, a fantastic weekend of crime writing courses (I can say that because I was at the first one last March). 2014’s author tutors are Chris Ewan, Zoe Sharp and Michael Malone. Darren Laws of Caffeine Nights will be teaching attendees how to pitch to a publisher and will also be accepting pitches. More information on Crime and Publishment can be found at http://www.crimeandpublishment.co.uk and https://www.facebook.com/CrimePublishment.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. Guidelines on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/guest-blogs. There are other options listed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/submission-information/opportunities-on-this-blog.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.