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"Necessity is the mother of invention."
Jonothan Swift


Writers' Forum 
Short Stories 

This site created by:
Blitz21 Web Creations
© 1998, 1999, 2000
Bryan Bailey,
All rights reserved.

There are secrets everywhere, and  everywhere revelations.  George Leonard, The Silent Pulse

Writers' Block Character workshop Plot workshop Creativity Workshop
Picture your story as a movie. Select music that will be the soundtrack for your movie and play it in your mind.  Hum it.  Is the music available? Play it! Music can inspire the written word by seting the tone of the work and produce mental images that can carry the story to places you probably haven't planned.  

If you're working on a story that is Spiritual in nature, select music that will enhance thoughts of spirituality. Instrumentals from India and Mid-eastern  countries  can produce an inner mood that can be reflected in your story. You may be working on a fiction piece that calls for psychological tension between characters and the opposition. Your neighborhood CD store might have horror movie soundtracks which would benefit  the suspenseful or mysterious atmosphere you're trying to create. The soundtracks to Psycho II & III are comprised of excellent instrumentals that might give your imagination a push into the right direction.
Listening to the radio can be distracting.   Most stations play an odd assortment of songs that have nothing to do with one another, and there is nothing more frustrating than creating a flow of consciousness on paper and being interrupted by some grating commercial from a car dealership. Steer away from the radio, unless of course you're lucky enough to listen to commercial-free radio stations that have a sense of musical continuity. And turn off the damn TV. Advertisers spend a lot of money to distract you from whatever you are doing to make you watch.  You can't watch what your writing if you're watching the TV. Turn it off. 
While browsing for CDs, take a look and see if there are any quality natural soundtracks of the ocean, babbling brooks, thunderstorms, etc. These sounds can help you relax and quiet your mind' especially if you live in the city.

Get Out of The House

Go to an art museum.  If you were your main character, how would you interpret the artwork? What would be appealing to your main character? Bring a notebook and write down these feelings and impressions. Would your main character find solace or apathy toward certain works of art? Would your main character find the individual paintbrush strokes fascinating, or would he be intimidated by the guard who seems to be following him around? Use these moments to explore your character.
Go to the library. What books has your main character read in the past? Can he read?  What books would you like your characters to read? In which section of the library would their interests lie? Go there and browse. Look at contemporary magazines that your characters would find interesting. What ads would they respond to and how?
Where do your characters live? Refer to maps or charts in the reference section that describe the locations in your story. Browse through picture books that depict settings your characters are in. Get a feel for the location. Memorize the vegetation, the terrain, the man-made strucrures. Get a feel for the weather. How cold does it get? Is it hot or humid? Feel it.
Go to a graveyard. Is your main character buried there? Does anyone visit her grave? If the character is still alive, what is her attitude toward death? How does she want to be disposed of? Is the subject of death easily confronted by your characters, or is it sornething they would rather not discuss?.
Go to the zoo. Just about everyone resembles an animal by either their mannerisms or their looks. Imagine your characters as you walk through the zoo. What characteristics do your characters and members of the animal kingdom share? What animals eat like them, sound like them, mate like them?  The zoo is not only a good place for getting in touch with the animals, it's a good place for people watching too.
Involve yourself with a form of aerobic exercise.  Besides relieving stress, aerobic activity stimulates the brain and produces a sort of thought euphoria. During a good aerobic workout, think about your story and let your rnind go with it.  You might be surprised with the results. Besides, writers have a tendency of getting out of shape when they're sitting in front of their computer too long. Don’t let this happen to you.
Local  writers'  workshops  can provide not only constructive critiquing, but allow a sharing of ideas and writing methods between writers. Someone may have a remedy for calling in your muse, and likewise, you may give an aspiration to someone else. Check your local libraries, coffee houses, and universities for postings of writers' workshops, or start one of your own.
And in the End 

The writing process is never over; it never seems to be in a state of completion. Even when a writing project—like this website—is apparently finished, it keeps developing in the author's mind especially when the files have been transferred—the electronic dillema of the written word going to press.  

This website is a continuing project, and I would like to get some feedback from you. If you have ways in which you've creatively eliminated episodes of writer's block and would like to share these methods with other readers/writers, let me know.  Post them in the Creative Web's Forum.