Asking Why

Here’s how I got rid of my writer’s block today.

I was having trouble with The Centuries Unlimited because I realized there was a plot hole in my outline. I came up with a fix, but that introduced new plot holes, and fixing them created more. So I stopped before the book dissolved in front of me.
I slept on the problem, which didn’t suggest any solutions, but at least blunted my sense of panic. Then I picked up Story Genius and read this:

Asking “Why?” is what burns through the fog, allowing you to envision your story’s cause-and-effect trajectory—clear, precise, and waiting for you to bring it to life.

And I said. “Okay, I’ll do the exercise. I know how the scene is supposed to begin and end: the good guy and the bad guy want to capture and interrogate each other > they each escape from each other.”

Here’s what I wrote:

bad guy escapes alone
why does he escape? – he wants to

And BAM! I didn’t finish writing the sentence because it all hit me right then. I won’t tell you how I solved the problem, but it all came to me at once, linking up everything in a much more satisfying way than the dull garbage that was in my outline before.

Thanks, Story Genius!

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