Let’s face it. Writing, at its heart, is work. You have to sit down, you have to put in the hours, and sometimes, when the real world intrudes, it’s tough to keep writing. If you’re having one of those writing days, try one of these ideas to keep your fictional world going when the real one won’t cooperate.
Our real worlds always have annoyances and irritations, and there are times when it’s difficult to shrug them off and focus on what isn’t real. So don’t. Take that person in your office who drives you insane and make her a victim in your thriller. That man who stole your parking space? He was just abducted by aliens. And they’re probe-y.
We all have those moments we wish could have gone differently, where we could have chosen differently. You can purge yourself of those nagging regrets by rewriting history yourself. If you’re stuck for an idea, take one of those crossroads from your own life and take another branch. Who says writing isn’t therapy?
One of the best parts of writing fiction is making your own universe out of nothing more than letters. If your real world is getting you down, build yourself a utopia. Make it everything you wish the world could be, down to the flying unicorns who deliver chocolate every hour on the hour. Then destroy it. Well, you do have to have a plot, right? Besides, once you’ve got it perfect, you’ll be itching to tear it apart anyway.
Torture Your Protagonist
Feel like the world is out to get you? Someone always has it worse. Who, you wonder? Your protagonist. That’s right, you can level every bit of anger, every bit of frustration, every bit of life-isn’t-fair at your hero or heroine, and here’s the icing: it makes for a better story. It’s like one-upping, but in the other direction. And maybe helping your protagonist out of a corner will help you get out of yours.
Escape into Your World
Isn’t this one the reason we all write in the first place? It’s for those perfect, golden moments when you’re inside the bubble with the world inside your head, when it feels as real as the keys beneath your fingers or the pen in your hand. No matter what is going on in your real world, the one you control is waiting.