This week is full of moments and strange thoughts as I look at the calendar.
The 13th was Daylight Savings, then today is Pi Day to the 4th place (3.1416 = 3/14/16) then Tuesday is the Ides of March, Wednesday makes me think of the Bible John 3:16, Thursday of course is St. Patrick’s Day, and Friday is National Supreme Sacrifice Day. The third Saturday in March is always National Quilting Day and then Sunday is a trifecta with Palm Sunday, Spring officially beginning and the Feast of St. Joseph (which is a big deal locally).
There are 3 birthdays in my family within the next 10 days and don’t forget Easter is coming down the trail as well. I don’t remember a busier March than this one! Yet, when one does find a free moment to sit and write, that old writer’s block can come creeping in. I hope you’re not at that point, but if you are, why not look at the calendar? Here are 3 ideas:
WHAT DAY IS IT IN YOUR BOOK?
What time frame are your characters at on a calendar? Is there something happening that would affect their circle locally? A festival or parade? Pull back and look at what was going on nationally – can you mention a specific day and event in your plot? How would they be affected by that? Don’t get too wrapped up in the main characters that you forget what’s going on around them. Even lovebirds still have to deal with friends hosting St. Patrick’s Day parties and such!
CHECK THEIR QUIRKS AGAINST THE CALENDAR
It might spark you to think of a quirk of their nature that could get you out of a block. Is your bad boy feeling close to his great uncle who fought in the war (think National Supreme Sacrifice Day above). Without telling anyone, does he go to visit his grandfather’s grave and honor him? Maybe after her stressful days at the office, she spends an hour a night quilting (again, see above). Those lesser known events celebrated might give you an idea as to another layer of your character’s behavior. For a fun example, think Dean Winchester in Supernatural and his love for pie. How would his character enjoy celebrating Pi Day?
INTERRUPT THE PLOT
Now that you have them in the car, are you stuck that your main characters aren’t speaking to you? Or to each other? Could you throw them into a traffic jam because of a local parade? Maybe they hear something about Pi Day on the radio to spark a conversation? Maybe her girlfriends want her to go out with them this weekend and she mentions she won’t be free for their date, etc. Random things happen in real life, so why not your plot? Watch how your male lead deals with being hot for the girl who just told him she never misses National Quilting Day with her girlfriends. Does he get turned on that she’s so independent? Does she find new confidence in herself to finally admit this hobby to him?
How do you like to spark new writing when you’re in a slump? How did a quirk or event help your plots in the past? I’d love to hear from you!