Monday, June 18, 2012

Steve Barancik on Writer's Block

I've added some pages to my Some Useful Sites list, and I wanted to call your attention to one in particular.

Barancik photoSteve Barancik's page on generating ideas is actually a pitch page for some writing books he sells, but the page itself has a lot of good ideas to help you deal with writer's block.

Barancik says that "Writer's Block is simply the condition of being blind to all the story elements that are available to you." He was a Hollywood writer and, if you know anything about Hollywood, they run through ideas like water through a sieve. His books are about how to apply the Hollywood approach to generating new ideas to writing children's books.

I won't go into all the things he says on this page -- and no, I haven't read the books and I don't get any money if you decide buy anything from him! -- but one thing I like is his approach to the old "what if?" game. He uses The Three Little Pigs as an example. He writes:
Everyone knows the tale of The Three Little Pigs and their encounter with the Big Bad Wolf. Most people think of the story as written in stone.

I see it as a lump of clay. You can too.
What he does, as he says on the page, is question his assumptions. Why does the story have to be told from a pig's viewpoint? He suggests My Story, by B.B. Wolf as one way of approaching it.

We always assume the pigs are male. He suggests a version called Sister Pig.

Steve gives a couple of other possibilities on the page, and those are from one of his books called 44 Ways to Fracture a Fairy Tale. It's part of a $24.95 package, and -- let me be clear about this -- I'm not telling you that you should buy his books.

But even without buying his books, I found a lot of useful info on the page. If you struggle with writer's block, a few minutes spent there might get your creative juices flowing.

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