February 15th, 2012

Let me see..

Go Ahead — Write This Story: Writer's block

Writer's block: It happens, it hurts, but you can cure it and resume writing. Try free writing — write anything, just write. Or write about the story rather than adding text to it. If you never outline, try it; if you always outline, abandon it. Take a walk. Read something weird. Change your writing tools. Brainstorm at least five ideas about what can happen next. Work on some other writing. Or maybe you have finished the story and don't realize it yet. If you need an idea for a story, here are a few:

• This is a satirical novelette in which a secret corps of patriots raids George Washington's tomb for DNA to create a new American hero.

• This is a story about an all-night convenience store clerk who begins to suspect that certain of his customers are supernatural beings preparing for some sort of organized activity.

• This is short-short story about a man who believes the Mayan prophecy that the world will end in a flood on December 23, 2012; he gets a cabin in the Canadian Rockies and sits on his front stoop as the clock strikes midnight.

— Sue Burke

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