Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blastin' through the Block: EXPLORATION EDITION!!!

For those new on this scene, Blastin' through the Block, is where I give you my (numerous and sometimes crazy) methods for blasting through your worst case of writer's block. Today's edition is EXPLORATION!

Remember those days when you were a kid, when you FINALLY finished your homework and you got to go outside and play? You had that tree-house high in the sky (or maybe just 4 feet) and there was that super, scary witch that lived next door and could curse you through her windows (aka your neighborhood babysitter), and can't forget your noble steed (dog) who was so brave he often dumped you on the ground so he could go after the dragon (bird) himself? Well, this is going to be a slightly less embarrassing version of the same thing. (Hopefully, no promises though :)

Not actual one in town, but scary similar. Source
What to do: Pick out someplace near that you've always liked/admired/thought was totally cool. I picked out the main street of my college town. It has this older/rustic type feel and on one side it fades into these huge houses with lots of columns and turrets. And start walking. (simple right) As you're walking, think about your characters.

What to think: Would they live in a place like the one to the left or would it be in a state of ruin? Do they live in a small town with eclectic little shops? Or maybe you're writing a dystopian? Imagine all of those places in your world and you're your character walking down the street wondering which house might have a couple canned goods left (BAM! Welcome to your setting.)

Hopefully, this will get your brain into gear. Let's think about this: generally, it takes little concentration to walk (unless you're me and you have to make sure not to trip over your own feet) this leaves your brain time to wonder = new ideas. Another plus is you get some exercise in. (Or you can take the kids out for a walk, they get tired, and take a nap longer than normal <--Hello more writing time)  

On a side note: If the place you want to explore is not on your own property or public property, as the owner for permission first! (Because I don't want you to get shot and because it's the right thing to do)

Any questions? Got plans now to explore? Any further suggestions for ways to blast through the block? Let me know in the comments! (P.S. Do you like the color "notice me" thing I've got going? Or is it annoying?)


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Walking is one of my favorite ways to not only get exercise but get my brain active. Even when I walk somewhere I've been a hundred times, I discover something new if I just look around.
I used to imagine spooky stories surrounding a Tudor house mostly hidden behind overgrown trees, shrubs, vines. Then someone cut it all down and took the mystery with them. sigh
Wonderful post.

Carolyn V. said...

I love that house! It would make the best ghost story scene!

Okay,now I'm thinking! =D

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great advice, Bethany!! I love the idea of finding setting this way. :-)

Julie said...

This is a really great idea! And if I weren't afraid of getting shot simply FOR walking around my neighborhood, I totally would. Also if they weren't promising 2 feet of snow starting this afternoon. :) Maybe in a few days....

Talli Roland said...

Fantastic idea! I love to get out of my flat and go for a run when I'm feeling a bit word-stodgy.

gina said...

this is a good idea! I might try it! And I like the "notice me" color :) Not annoying at all.

Also, I like the quote that you posted on my blog. Fortune cookies sometimes say the best things.