I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron’s practice of writing out 3 pages longhand every day. I don’t always do it perfectly, mind, but its purpose is to get you over the fear of writing bad, or the fear of “not having anything to say.”
As Seth Godin points out over on his blog, no one ever gets “Talker’s Block”!
As an author, your job is to
ruin complicate fictional lives. This is a way to do it.
In writing a scene recently, I saw 2 choices my character could make. The first one was The Smart Choice (don’t give your blood to untrustworthy magical lady X). The Wrong Choice (give your blood to untrustworthy magical lady X so she can create a magical entity that should kill off untrustworthy magical lady Y! Also untrustworthy magical lady X HAS YOUR BLOOD ON-HAND should she ever need it in the future for her own diabolical purposes!) was a choice that would introduce a lot of fun story mayhem and be very interesting to write !
Now, I’m a firm believer in allowing your character to make stupid mistakes, wrong choices, misunderstand others, etc., because perfect characters who never make mistakes are boring.
So I was a little nervous when I wrote the scene and saw the character taking The Smart Choice. when I tried to visualize the character taking The Wrong Choice, it wouldn’t flow–it was too out-of-character for him.
BUT THEN something else fun introduced itself. When my lead character made the smart choice, he did it in such a spazzy way that he alarmed and alienated all his colleagues and he made his boss extra suspicious of him!
The moral of this story? When your character won’t make a stupid decision, it’s OK for him to make a smart decision in an incredibly stupid way.