Getting Unstuck

We all get stuck. I’m sure I’m not the only one. We get to a point in our brainstorming, world-building, or writing, and we draw a blank. I’m not talking about writer’s block here, but if we aren’t careful, our little blanks can morph into one big frozen block of nothingness.

In chapter thirty-four of The Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell suggests the use of a Thesaurus. Say you’re writing a story and you get stuck. Flip open the Thesaurus, take the first word your eyes see and brainstorm. It’s Russian Roulette with words. Ha! 

I’ve never done this before, but I have been known to get “lost” in the dictionary and then find some cool word that leads to a rush of ideas. So I get it. I’ll have to give it a whirl the next time I get stuck.

For me: I’ve opened my idea notebook or a OneNote page, and I write down the story idea, whatever comes to mind, and the questions. Usually, I’ll find a solution and get unstuck. Although, I have had times where this has created more questions and problems, but the story is richer for it.

So what say you? What do you do when you get stuck? Have you tried the Thesaurus method? If so, how did it go?


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